An extremely durable, adaptable and beautiful tree, the Chinese elm is well-suited for the pressures of urban landscapes. It also has the advantage of being highly resistant to Dutch elm disease.
This tree is eligible for a $50 Tree Rebate.
Small leaves are dark green, shiny, alternate, elliptical to ovate, serrated
Small, inconspicuous, green-yellow and produced in early autumn
Round samaras* appearing in the fall
Slender, zigzag, brown, with obvious orange lenticels*
Young bark is a flaky brown-gray color, but mature bark is an exfoliating, mottled, and flaky combination of gray, green, orange, tan, and red-brown
Rounded crown with very fine branches
Typically grows 30 to 60 feet tall
The Chinese elm is a species native to China, Japan, North Korea and Vietnam. It ranges widely around the contiguous United States, although normally not seen in the north-midwestern states
Medium-sized, deciduous and sometimes semi-deciduous tree
In the fall, the leaves can turn to a wide variety of colors: yellow, gold, orange, red, purple, and green
Prefers moist, well-drained, fertile soil, but they adapt to drought and the extremes of urban sites
Prefers full sun
Siberian elm, Japanese zelkova
Pests and Diseases
Does not have any major health problems except a moderate susceptibility to elm yellows and common wood-boring pests.
Chinese elm is a popular choice as a bonsai species, and is perhaps the single most widely available bonsai tree.
It is considered an invasive species in some parts of the United States; hackberry is a good alternative.