About eighteen species of elm are native to North America,
Europe and Asia. Dutch Elm Disease decimated
the American elm in the eastern United
States. Formerly, it was an important timber
tree. Several elms are cultivated today as shade trees. Chinese elm is native
to Asia. It is resistant to Dutch Elm Disease.
Many varieties have been selected for differences in growth habit, variegation
in the leaves, and other qualities. It is a deciduous tree that usually holds
its leaves very late into the winter. Patches of orange bark are displayed as
the tan outer bark flakes off.
Chinese elm is an easy shade tree for the landscape and is
commonly available in nurseries. The commonest variety in the southeast is
‘Drake.’ Unfortunately, transplanted
‘Drake’ trees have a tendency to lean. Better varieties are available in the
nursery trade. Chinese elms produce a lot of seed and the tree is considered
weedy in some parts of the United
See this tree over the deck at OutTakes Plaza.
Large tree to seventy feet tall with some smaller growing cultivars.
Light: full sun
Water: best in a moist soil, some drought tolerant once established
Soil: average soil, wide pH tolerance, no special requirements
Chinese elm is an easy tree for northeast Florida. Grow it in a reasonably moist but
not wet soil in full sun.
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