Monday, September 28, 2009

Tuesday's Trees- Zelkova serrata





The Zelkova serrata is a non-native, but it is one that you are seeing more and more across the country. It is hardy zones 5- 8, quite adaptable to many urban type settings. In Michael Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs the Zelkova is listed in the back for drought tolerant trees, handling compacted soils, heat tolerant, and ideal for street / urban planting. Many landscapers are using it more in place of the American Elm as it has more resistance to the Dutch Elm disease.



As a mature tree the Zelkova will be a large tree, height ranging from 60- 90 feet tall with a spread of up to 40 feet. The growth habit has the limbs forming a tight vase. In order for this tree to maintain its nice shape and be a healthy tree proper pruning techniques need to be followed. The limb crotch angles are tight and one should prune to keep the center of the tree open.

This sample of the Zelkova is in the Learning Garden and has been pruned for the last number of years with an eye on keeping the vase shape open and room for the limbs to mature.
The 2- 5 inch alternate leaves are dark green and serrated. In the fall this tree really shines. The fall colors range from yellow to red to purple.

The bark is grey and smooth with numerous lentils and some exfoliation.
Some further reading on this tree include North Carolina State, Virginia Tech, UCONN, University of Florida, and MOBOT.



more fall colors

From swamp chestnut oak swamp white oak Learning Garden

From swamp chestnut oak swamp white oak Learning Garden

Next week's tree- Chionanthus virginicus

19 comments:

  1. I love the burnished colors of the last shot. Zelkovas are nice enough to lift their branches to allow cars to pass underneath, making them great street trees. Have you ever seen the variegated one?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Janet,

    New tree for me! Nice photos, I'm sure I've seen it and didn't know what it was.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That tree is stunning, Janet, and I've never seen one before. I doubt they would do well here, but I love its structure.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is most beautiful. I do love the vase shape.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is a beautiful tree, Janet, and I love its shape! I've never heard of this before, but it does sound like a good alternative to some of our urban trees that have been plagued with diseases.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What an attractive tree! Thank you for sharing this with us. It may come in handy for me soon, as we are looking for a new, deciduous front yard tree.
    In fact, I was planning on referring back to your series when we start seriously looking!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've never seen this tree. The autumn color is nice and it looks like a good shade tree that many can enjoy sitting beneath. Thanks for posting it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love how "light and airy" it looks Janet. I'm not familiar with it but it would be on the cusp of not being hardy here...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Les, I do not know of the variegated one, will have to investigate.

    Hi Randy, It is a good tree. Nice shade, good leaves.

    Hi Diana, I am not sure how well it would do in the central Texas heat. It does have a nice structure.

    Hi Tina, Great vase! I would recommend this one if I were you.

    Hi Rose, I hadn't heard of it before I learned of it in our Learning Garden when I started volunteering there. It is a great alternative to some other trees.

    Hi Ginger, You are most kind, I hope I profile a tree that you really like and end up using!

    Hi Mary Delle, I hope to get some more autumn colors later in the season as the leaves have such a range of color through the fall.

    Hi Kathleen, not sure how well it would do pushing the limits of its zone hardiness. It is a super shade tree.

    ReplyDelete
  10. A great tree! Do protect the base so that it isn't cut by mowers or weed whackers. That's about the only thing that will hurt a zelkova. I had them at a previous house in the sidewalk inferno strip.

    Cameron

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nice tree which should be used more in many places including here.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Cameron, it is a great tree isn't it? In the Learning Garden we have it in a mulched area so there are no string trimmers to worry about, but thanks for a good reminder.

    Hi Jen, I agree-- should be used more here as well.

    ReplyDelete
  13. That is a very nice canopy and your last pic is wonderful. I like the collage side show too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love the look of the veins underneath the leaves.... running parallel from the center to the sides.. Sweet and perfect!
    and thanks to your nice words about Blotanical Award 2009.
    cheers
    ~bangchik

    ReplyDelete
  15. Morning Anna, I was tickled to find the last picture, it was taken last fall for another project. Glad you like the collages.

    Hi Bangchik, so glad to see you this morning. Wondered about all the earthquake/ tsumani events in your area of the world. Stay safe. I am glad you received the Blotanical awards!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I like Zelkova, but can't wait for your next profile, Fringetrees. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Sweetbay, stay tuned for the Fringetrees!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Beautiful and unfamiliar to me. I love the bark. Thanks for the ongoing education in trees, I have added several to my mental list of favorites thanks to these posts.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks Megan, glad you are enjoying the tree posts. I have become so focused on trees-- kind of funny --all else is secondary.

    ReplyDelete

If you use OpenID/Anonymous please sign your name so I know who you are...there is a lot of spam out there. Thanks for visiting today. The Queen would be pleased if you left a comment...... :-D thanks! I do respond to your comments, you can click on the email followup comments to have it in your inbox.

I am now moderating all comments. Too much spam is coming through. Sorry folks.