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Tree of the Month – Zelkova

Botanical Name: Zelkova serrata

Zelkova orange patchesCharacteristics: Growing up to 50-80 feet tall, the Zelkova is a great shade tree that has upward growing limbs to form a vase-shape. Fall color is a pleasing trait for this tree with colors ranging from yellows to bronze and oranges. The bark is a notable and pleasing trait. Bark on mature Zelkovas begins to exfoliate, leaving orange patches from underneath.

Hardiness Zone: Zone 5-8

Requirements: Prefers full sun, tolerant of most soil conditions, and drought tolerant.

Zelkova TreePest Susceptibility and Diseases: The Zelkova can be prone to ice damage, so pruning for good structure is recommended. It is susceptible to cankers and phloem necrosis. Although the Zelkova is closely related to Elms, it is resistant to Dutch Elm Disease and has been used as a replacement to Elms that have died from the disease.

A variety we recommend is the “Green Vase” which grows narrower than other varieties and has excellent fall color.