Chinese elm Ulmus parvifolia canopyIf you have a yen for a tall stately elm but fear Dutch elm disease you might be tempted by ‘Emer 11” Chinese elm which is resistant to the disease. This cultivar is one of several introductions that has the structure of an American elm and so is a good substitute. It quickly grows to 40-70 feet tall and has a rounded habit with arching branches. The leaves are dark green and similar to those of American elm although smaller. Inconspicuous flowers are produced in the late summer followed by samaras. Winter interest in added after the leaves falls by the bark that exfoliates to produce beautiful lacey patterns in shades of olive, gray, green, orange and brown . The tree transplants easily in early spring and early fall and adapts to extremes of pH and urban conditions.

Type: Deciduous tree

Chinese elm Ulmus parvifoliaOutstanding Feature: Exfoliating bark; habit

Form: Broad vase-shaped; round top with arching branches at maturity

Growth Rate: Medium to fast

Bloom: Inconspicuous in late summer

Chinese elm Ulmus parvifolia lvsSize: 40-70’ H x 50-60’ W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained; does not tolerate wet soil.

Hardiness: Zones 5-9

Care: Prune in late fall or early winter

Pests and Diseases: Although resistant, Chinese elms are not immune to Dutch elm disease, some cultivars more than others; susceptible to Elm yellows.

Propagation: Seed; cultivars by cuttings

Outstanding Selection: ‘Allee’ (up to 70’ tall; most resistant to Dutch elm disease).

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By Karen