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Brussel's CT9005CE Chinese Elm Bonsai

268 customer reviews
| 11 answered questions

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  • Deciduous outdoor bonsai
  • The small leaves are ideally suited for bonsai
  • Imported from northern China
  • 5 years old; 9 inches tall
  • Ulmus parvifolia
4 new from $49.95

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Product Description

Product Description

Chinese Elms are deciduous trees with small leaves and fine twigging on their secondary branches. These trees are imported from Chinese nurseries where the branches have been painstakingly trained for years. Chinese Elms are durable and may be displayed indoors for extended periods of time.

From the Manufacturer

Chinese elms are durable, deciduous trees with small leaves, a large trunk base, balanced root spread, and an evenly tapered trunk. In autumn their leaves turn vibrant shades of red. This Chinese elm is five years old, 6 to 8 inches tall, and comes in a 5-inch pot. Every tree order includes specific growing instructions.

Delivery and Packaging: What to expect when you receive your bonsai
To ensure only well-established, healthy trees are shipped, Brussel's Bonsai imports its trees from nurseries in China where growers spend years training and shaping tree branches. Some bonsai defoliate (drop leaves) when their environment changes. If upon the tree's arrival some leaves have dropped or turned slightly brown that does not mean the bonsai is unhealthy. Defoliation is the natural result of being in the low-light environment of a shipping box. Whenever possible, Brussel’s Bonsai avoids using Styrofoam-popcorn packaging. In some cases, Styrofoam popcorn must be used to safely pack unusually shaped bonsai. Organic popcorn packaging made from corn starch reacts with moisture from the trees and can dissolve. When you receive your tree, place the box in a shaded area to unpack. Inspect tree for damage to branches or leaves. Water soil if dry. Place each bonsai in protected shade for at least one week before moving to a sunny location.

What is a Bonsai?
Literally, the Japanese word "bonsai" means "tray tree" or "plant grown in a pot." The term refers to the artistic techniques used to capture the natural beauty of trees, rather than a specific variety of tree. A full-grown tree and a bonsai can be grown from the same seed--the bonsai has simply been dwarfed and shaped through years of training. To develop authentic bonsai, Brussels grows specimens under carefully controlled conditions, meticulously training each tree with wire and pruning over a period of years. The value of a particular bonsai typically depends on size, age, and training. Generally, more expensive trees are larger, older, and have had more detailed, elaborate training. These qualities combined create the illusion of a large tree in a natural setting.

Deciduous/Outdoor Bonsai Care

Outdoor bonsai are deciduous trees that require the same climate changes in spring, summer, fall, and winter as full-sized trees of the same species. As a rule, deciduous bonsai do well in regions with humidity levels of 50% to 75% and yearly temperature ranges of 20 to 100 degree F. During winter, deciduous bonsai must remain outdoors. This period of dormancy is essential--without it, the tree may become unhealthy and susceptible to disease. Protect or "heel-in" your bonsai by covering the pot and soil with pine needles or mulch. Place the tree against a wall to shield it from extreme winds. Outdoor bonsai are more vulnerable to extreme cold than full-size trees and should be moved to a garage, shed, cold frame, or basement when temperatures fall below 20 degrees F.

Deciduous bonsai need to be kept outdoors year-round. Natural sunlight and rainwater are both important elements in an ideal growing environment. Typically, they require six or more hours of direct sunlight a day and do well in locations that get shade from late afternoon sun. Outdoor bonsai may be displayed indoors once a month, for short periods of time (2-3 days). In Japan, bonsai are traditionally displayed against a solid black, white, wood, or bamboo background, or on a stand or pot larger than the tree. Stark contrasts enhance the bonsai’s simple beauty.

Generally speaking, water when the top of the soil is dry. Use a can or hose attachment that casts a soft, rain-like spray that won’t disturb the soil in the pot. Do not allow bonsai to dry out. Water daily during hot summer months. In winter, though trees need less water, it’s a good idea to water well before a hard freeze (frozen water acts as insulation).

Soil and fertilizer
Bonsai trees spend years in the same soil and eventually deplete the available nutrients. Providing supplemental nutrition is essential for a healthy tree. Most water soluble and time-released fertilizers work well when used as directed.

Run wire through drain
Trim rootball
Work soil into roots
Bonsai need to be repotted every 3 to 5 years. After receiving your tree, wait at least one growing season before repotting. Using proper bonsai soil is critical. Brussel’s bonsai soil consists of a mixture of high-fired clay particles and finely ground pine bark. The soil-free mix does not compact, allows water to drain easily, and helps prevent the root rot that often occurs with ordinary potting soil.

It is important to pot your bonsai correctly. Prepare your container for potting by putting screen over the drain holes. Run wire through the drain screen--you will need this to secure the tree in the container. Trim the rootball so it will fit in the bonsai pot. Keep in mind, cutting larger roots is better than cutting small feeder roots. Continue trimming the root ball until it will fit into the bonsai container. Be sure to place a good layer of bonsai soil on the bottom of the bonsai container.

Place the tree in the pot. Use the wire to secure the tree in the bonsai container. Twist and pull the wire with pliers to tighten. Add bonsai soil around the root ball. Use a chopstick to work the bonsai soil into the root system. Your bonsai should now be secure in its new container.

All bonsai require some degree of seasonal pruning. Regular pruning produces smaller branches. A simple pair of pointed-nose scissors does the job. Wiring may also be used to hold them in a desired position or location. If you’re happy with the branch placement as is, there is no real need to wire. For detailed instruction in the art of pruning bonsai, Brussel’s Bonsai recommends purchasing a book on basic training techniques.

If you choose to wire your bonsai, make sure to use heavier gauge wire for larger branches on the bottom of the tree, and lighter gauge for smaller branches. Begin by sticking the end of the wire into the soil next to the trunk of the tree. Wrap the wire around the trunk until you come to the first branch. Continue curling the wire around the branch. Once you have come to the end of a branch, cut and remove the excess wire. The wire now allows you to bend the branch into the desired shape and location.

Most bonsai trees can live up to 100 years or more depending, of course, on the quality of care they receive.

The Story of Brussel's Bonsai Nursery
When Brussel Martin was five years old, he was instantly captivated by several bonsai his father brought back from a California business trip. As a teenager, he began to seriously study the art of bonsai. What started as an artistic endeavor in his parents' backyard quickly grew into a business. In the 1970s, he began selling bonsai through the mail and traveling to shows across the country. By the early '80s, he was making annual buying trips to Asia.

As the business has grown, so has his desire to introduce bonsai to more and more Americans. Brussels now offers a full range of bonsai trees, from modestly priced bonsai for the beginner to unique specimens styled by bonsai experts.

Product Details

  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B0000DGG1U
  • Item model number: CT9005CE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (268 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,509 in Patio, Lawn & Garden (See Top 100 in Patio, Lawn & Garden)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on January 28, 2009
I love this little tree. My husband got it for his birthday about 3 years ago, and it's traveled with us from Boston to California. We do NOT have green thumbs, and the tree has had to struggle back from drought and drastic climate change and overpruning and inexpert attempts at wiring, and there were times I confess I thought I'd killed it for good, but each time it's magically brought back all its leaves and continued being one of the most beautiful green things I own. The shape is lovely, and I remember it arrived packaged incredibly well.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By L Flores on January 20, 2004
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I received this tree only 3 days after I ordered it! It's beautiful! It has a nice fat trunk and looks exactly like the picture. It shows no signs of insects or disease. It came in a good quality pot. I'm sure I'll have this tree for a long time.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Andy on February 26, 2012
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The bonsai arrived very quickly and packaged very well. The bonsai itself is a very healthy tree and exactly as described. I have only one major issue with this purchase. During the process of training the bonsai to shape the trunk and branches typically you will use wire to encourage the tree to grow in a specific manner. This bonsai was trained to the Nejikan style. However, I noticed that three wire rings were still on the tree and quite rusted to the point I missed them originally. I was able to remove the old wiring, but the tree had begun to grow around the wire it had been there so long and rust rings were left on the trunk.

Again this is a great little bonsai, but I would think hard about buying another bonsai online simply because you don't get to appraise the bonsai with your own hands and eyes.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bigfoot Bonsai on October 14, 2005
Tree was better than pictured, came in only a few days and was packaged very well. Looking forward to ordering more trees from Brussel's.
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Wayne M. Oday on February 17, 2011
I've been a Bonsai hobbist for more than 10 years. I have personally visted the Brussel's Bonsai Nursery in Alabama. IT's about 40 minutes away from Memphis Tn and well worth the drive. I've purchased LOTS of trees from Brussel's (at the nursery, by mail and at bonsai shows) and have always been satisfied. You get great trees at really resonable prices. Pay particular attention to if the tree is rated for indoor or outdoors. Outdoor bonsais that are brought indoors for more than a few days will die. I love the Chinese Elm variety. It has tiny vergated leaves just like the mamouth elm trees that used to blanket Chicago neighborhoods. The Chinese Elm can be kept inside during the winter. but ALL bonsai's will do much better if you let them enjoy the summer weather outside. If you fertilize them, they will grow profusely, thickening the trunk and developing more character and allow to enjoy your had at shaping your tree to what you define as Cool. Dive in and Enjoy!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By famousperson on September 29, 2010
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I received the tree three or four days after I ordered it. It arrived in perfect shape, with plastic over the soil which was still damp! There was no way it was going to be damaged in shipping, but it was SO well packed I was worried about hurting it while taking it out of the box. It seemed perfectly healthy, all of the leaves being green, anyway. Its bent form was not identical but equivalent to that shown in the picture, and with that I was pleased.

Never having dealt with bonsai before, I approached my caretaking with some trepidation. I read a couple of books (101 Essential Tips- Harry Tomlinson, for one), and another one picked at random from Amazon's wide selection. The most important thing I got out of the books was the importance of watering. The soil must be kept damp. It seemed like water just flowed through the soil into the evaporation tray without any staying in the pot, but there was nothing I could do about that. Still, I water it daily (as directed) and so far (two months), somewhat to my surprise it has thrived.

In fact, although it is Fall, there is actually new growth--tiny little leaves popping out at the end of some branches! I guess whatever watering I am doing is sufficient. It will be interesting to see how it will survive the Winter. It is an outdoor tree (and it is important to know when you are considering getting a bonsai plant whether it is indoor or outdoor) and requires the dormant period of cold and short days. It should be watered as often as possible even then (obviously if the soil is solid ice that won't be possible).

If it dies anytime from here on out, it is on me; the plant itself as delivered was healthy and happy. I do not hesitate giving the tree five stars, and would buy bonsai from Amazon again.
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful By D. Press-Dawson on December 5, 2006
I recently became interested in becoming a practitioner in the art of bonsai, so I went out and bought a book about indoor bonsai for beginners. After reading the book throughly, I decided to go with the Chinese Elm, since it looks great and can stand the hard tap water in the area where I live. The tree also is capable of withstanding most pests, with the exception of spider mites, but I got a humidifying tray to aide with that. I literally just received this tree and it is just great! It took approximately four days to arrive and only lost about fifteen leaves, which in my book, is just fine for four days without sun, only about of three leaves were yellowed. The coloring and branch placement are exceptional and it looks like this is the start of a great relationship. :)
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