Similar to its larger sized counterpart, the Chinese Elm bonsai tree is known to lose its leaves in the winter if kept outdoors in cold temperatures. Unfortunately, some people may think that the tree at this point is dead and may find its way into the garbage. Fortunately, Chinese Elms are extremely hardy and can sprout leaves quite easily if they are tricked into thinking it’s spring.
In order to “force” your Chinese Elm bonsai tree, you will need to create a greenhouse atmosphere during the day to keep the tree extremely warm, above 85 degrees. This can be done with a glass dome or tabletop greenhouses. Using a humidity tray will also allow the water to evaporate and create a humid environment as well. At night, ensure that the tree does not get below 50 degrees.
Keeping your tree in these conditions will eventually “force” the tree to sprout new buds. The buds will then full sprout after a few weeks and produce light green, soft leaves.