Print This Page


Botanical Name:  Zelkova serrata
Common Names:  Japanese zelkova
Family:  Elm
Family:  Ulmaceae
Height:  50-80 ft. Width:  40-50 ft.

Cultivars:  Autumn Glow, Fuiri Kevaki, Green Vase, Green Veil, Halka, Spring Grove, Variegata, Village Green

Character:  Deciduous, upright growing shade tree that is kin to and looks very similar to American elm; easy fall cleanup; sometimes used as replacement for American elm; easy to transplant; decent street tree; fast growing but not as long living as elms; flowers not showy; low branched, vase shape in youth; 2-5 in. alternate, simple leaves; yellow, orangish brown, reddish purple fall color. Attractive, smooth, grayish-brown bark with numerous lenticels. With age, the bark becomes more mottled in color and exfoliates (peels) slightly.

Conditions:  Sun to partial shade; most moist well-drained soil. Drought, wind and heat tolerant. Poor drainage intolerant. Tolerant of both acidic and alkaline soils.  Avoid wet sites. Highly susceptible to ice damage. Disease, pest and problem resistant.

Zones:  5-8. Native to Japan, eastern China, Taiwan, and Korea.
Uses:  Residential sites and parks, parkways, wide medians. Zelkova is closely related to elms, but it is resistant to Dutch elm disease. Drought tolerant and fairly tolerant of urban sites once established.

  Search Library Topics      Search Newspaper Columns