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Zelkova serrate /Japanese Zelkova

Zelkova serrate  / Zelkova serrate
Foliage showing the fine teeth along leaf margins and silver-gray trunks
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Foliage showing the fine teeth along leaf margins and silver-gray trunks

Foliage in mid summer

Overview of a relatively young tree

As a young tree the form is similar to the American elm, a tree that it is often substituted for

Typical foliage with red stems

Typical bark

Cluster of foliage



Tree bark

Tree bark


Close-up image of foliage

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Scientific Name: Zelkova serrate
Common Name: Japanese Zelkova
Plant Type: Deciduous
Leaf Type: Broadleaf
Hardiness Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8 Determine Your Zone
Height: 30-50 feet
Spread: 20- 30 feet
Light Exposure: Sun
Drainage: Well drained, Moist,
Rate of Growth: Moderate
Water Requirement: Medium
Maintenance Level: Low
Susceptible to insects
and diseases:
Landscape Categories: Bark, Trunk, and Branch Features
Plants for Xeriscapes
Comments: This is an excellent shade tree for the Upper South. It is a clean lawn tree with small leaves that make for easy fall cleanup after leafdrop. The tree is a good substitute for the American elm in locations where elms have problems with the Dutch elm disease. It is reported to tolerate urban stress quite well.