Chinese elm(Drake Elm) has the most beautiful bark – green, gray, orange and brown mottled and flaking in small thin plates. This is a handsome tree, often with a trunk that forks and produces a vase shape similar to American elm (U. americana).
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Chinese elm usually gets no more than 40-50 ft (12.2-15.2 m) tall. The leaves are typical elm leaves – about 2 in (5.1 cm) long, elliptic, toothed, conspicuously veined and with unequal bases. Chinese elm is tardily deciduous, almost evergreen in mild climates. Most elms produce their little winged “samaras” in the spring; this one fruits in the fall. The samaras are flat and papery, about 1/3 in (0.8 cm) across and rather showy hanging in dense clusters. This is a highly variable species and there are many cultivars in the trade, selected for form, size, bark color, cold hardiness and foliage characteristics.
Note from Joel
Chinese Elm(Drake Elm is a tough little tree, tolerant of urban air and soils and resistant to Dutch elm disease. Fast growing and adaptable, this is a good choice when you want a shade tree for a small landscape.
Common Names: Chinese elm, lacebark elm, Drake elm Family: Ulmaceae (elm Family)
Chinese elm is a fast growing tree that is adaptable to most soil types. Light: Full sun to partial shade. Moisture: Regular garden watering. Chinese elm is not as tolerant of drought as Siberian elm. Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 – 9
Chinese elm trees are prodigious re-seeders. In some regions this species is invasive and is disrupting native plant populations. Before you plant this tree, check locally to determine if it is causing problems in your area.