Is There A Use For Chinese Elm Lumber?

So we have this big elm out in the front yard that survived Sandy but it was lifting from the ground a bit. However, that same twisting growth made Elm perfect for wagon wheel hubs because they would not split when oak spokes were driven into them. Dad used charcoal as fuel, put the butts or chicken on the rotissere, and added some elm for smoke. Most fine furniture that has survived from the Ming and early Qing dynasties is made from Huanghuali, although it was seldom used after the mid Qing period. Elms, hickory and ash all have remarkably hard, tough wood that has made them popular for things like tool handles, bows and baseball bats.

Elm is what I have found the most of. Just got done cutting and splitting some dead elm. Hey Gary, the one you have a few posts above mine looks alot like Siberian Elm. There are quite a few other types of elm I am not familiar with and it would very well could be one of them. Check the leaves of the winged elm to identify this tree, which is the smallest of the elm family.

A Chinese Elm bought as an indoor Bonsai can be placed outside during the summer and in winter it is best to take it into a cold frost-free room. In angiosperms (flowering plants, e.g. broadleaf/deciduous trees), reaction wood is called tension wood, and it forms above the branch, pulling up the wood beneath it like a rope stretched taut. Fertilize your Chinese Elm bonsai once every two weeks during the growing season (spring through fall) with a bonsai-specific or organic fertilizer. Depending on the temperatures of their winter quarters Chinese Elms can either drop their leaves or keep them until spring when the new shoots emerge.

Of note, the other, much younger trees behind it and on the other side of the street are Chinese elms. A. Fungicides are injected into the root flare area of healthy elms to prevent the Dutch elm disease fungus from establishing in your tree. The bark on a Chinese elm looks nothing like other elms and unlike any domestic species. Very few examples of Ming furniture made from Zitan exist today but there are many pieces remaining from the mid-Qing dynasty onwards, suggesting that not many pieces were made before this time.

The wood is ideal for carving and has long been used for making musical instruments as well as for carved panels on furniture. Native elm veneer sells for about $1 per square foot-Carpathian elm burl about double that. Dr. H. Michael Mike” Barnes is internationally recognized as a leading expert in the field of wood preservation and durability. Fact is, I think he’s been snowblind since birth… Among his other faults (I mean, besides being a Liberal), he’s also the Grand Dragon of the Elm Defamation League. After seeing that grain I’ll have to get stuck into that Chinese Elm log of mine and get some sent over to you as promised Bob.


We offer a variety of wood beams and wood box beams obtained from turn-of-the-century structures. The Elm is often confused with the Zelkova but if you compare their leaves the difference is clearly recognizable. Note: If testing your own tree, sterilize your cutting tool after each cut to prevent spreading the Dutch elm disease fungus to other trees. The leaves of the slippery elm are larger than those of other elms, and retain an coarseness even in summer. The wood is light to medium in density and is relatively stable, with a fine, even texture.

From what I’ve looked up online, it doesn’t meet the description of slippery elm with it’s fuzzy twigs so I’m not sure what other kind of elm it would be. Outside of these circles, the selection of wood depended largely on availability and suitability for the type of piece produced in terms of flexibility, durability, colour and grain. We have a big fireplace that I can get screaming hot so pretty much most wood is burned well by the time we’re done with it. Flowers may be hidden behind the leaves of the elm if the tree has already produced leaves.

You’ll find elm growing in river bottoms and on low, fertile hills mixed with other species of hardwoods. I have a tree growing right up against my fence that i was told by my father-in-law was chinese elm. Has typical elm leave, small, about one inch long, half inch wide, uneven base, dark green on top, rough with usually a dozen or less pair of veins. Rustic yet refined, reclaimed wooden shelves are 100 percent recycled wood from turn of the century barns, factories, mills and buildings of the like. They’re probably almost equal in weight, as the euc was a lot more dried out than this brand new, soaking wet elm log.

Large quantities of furniture during the second half of the Qing dynasty were made from Hongmu, particularly in Southern China, but there is almost no reference to it before the eighteenth century, suggesting that it was not a material commonly used before then. From felling the trees through installation of the final piece Scott Wunder, owner of WunderWoods in St. Charles, MO, shares his woodworking knowledge with anyone that will talk to him about wood. The Chinese Elm is the most popular Elm for Bonsai purposes although other elms are also very suitable.

The Chinese Elm is among the easiest trees to identify because of its mottled bark. Nonetheless, just assume that your Chinese elm is actually a Siberian elm, unless it looks a lot like the photos below. I really like all types of elm for building furniture and each has its strengths. A lot of elm (often mixed with ash and oak) was used by commercial furniture manufacturers in the late 19th century to churn out cheap, utilitarian cupboards, dry sinks and chair seats…The latter, because elm is very resistant to splitting. These pages have been developed as a resource for collectors of Chinese antiques or for those with a general interest in Chinese furniture.

I guess what I’ll do is keep milling the elm in thick planks and try to reserve them for projects that won’t require resawing into thinner pieces. The Chinese called elm y�mu, and worked it into utilitarian furniture that would take abuse. The bark on this tree definately looks more like an American Elm than the Chinese Elm. Mike is well recognized internationally for his research in wood deterioration & preservation. I stand corrected – the tree I cut was Siberian Elm or Russian Elm as we call it. Sorry for the confusion but it did make some nice lumber. As a boy and young man I hated to size up elm for the two wood stoves we had in the house.

The Slippery Elm is also called Ulmus Rubraand prefers cooler climes.) While the Chinese Elm is said to be hardy from zones 5 to 9, it has been spotted growing from Canada to Florida, Maine to California. The wood has a strong fragrance, is easy to work and can be polished to a bright finish. Rich with a working history, the timeless beauty of antique barn wood is unmistakable.