If I had to select only one species to grow as bonsai, it would be Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia). If I had to select the one species grown for bonsai that has been most abused by the commercial bonsai industry, it would be Chinese elm. Be that as it may, I always recommend the species to beginners and veterans alike. And last year I stocked in 300 liners, so I can strike a blow for better Chinese elm bonsai in the coming years. It won’t make a dent in anything, but at least there will be some decent specimens on the market.
Here’s a three-tree planting I did back in 2015. It only took a year from sticks in pots to get to this point (before the composition went to a client). That’s one of the great features of Chinese elm. It takes relatively little time to make them look like real trees.