Japanese Zelkova

Zelkova serrata
Family: Ulmaceae (elm family)
I podcast script

zelkova2_wholetreesmall.jpg

whole tree


zelkova2_trunksmall.jpg

trunk



zelkova_leavessmall.jpg

leaves


zelkova_fruitsmall.jpg

flowers and fruits



Classification:

Angiosperm, Dicot, deciduous

Size:

Height: up to 50 - 80 ft (15.3 - 24.3 m.)
Spread of canopy: 50 - 60 ft
Trunk diameter: up to 4 ft or more

Identifying Features:

Deciduous tree with a dark-green spring/summer foliage
During the autumn, the zelkova holds a majestic display of yellow, orange and red
Foliage contains alternate leaf arrangement, serrated edge and symmetic leaf base
Vase-shaped tree structure constructed of a short main trunk with low branching

Location/Habitat:

Native habitats include:
  • Japan; in the lowlands and mountains
  • China; in valleys, beside streams at elevations of 500 - 2000 m.
Found in climate zones 5 - 8; ex: Washington and Oregon coastline, Willamette Valley, Northern California, Central Valley

Flower/Fruit/Reproduction:

Inconspicuous flowers appear in the spring
  • greenish in color with slight perfume
The zelkova is monoecious: having pistillate and staminate flowers on the same plant.
Fruit are displayed in the fall as black, unwinged nutlets
  • about 3 mm. in diameter

Water/Sun Requirements:

Light: full to partial sun
Water: prime conditions include moist soil that drains well so that the roots are not soaked

Special Adaptations:

Tolerant to high drought, pollution and soil acidity
Resistant but not immune to to Dutch Elm Disease, bacterial cankers, wilts, and phloem necrosis

Other Info:

Used often as a bonsai plant
Cultivated for commercial timber in Japan
Varieties include: goshiki, variegata, green vase, halka, spring grove, village green

Reference Sources/Links:

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ST678
http://www.floridata.com/ref/z/zelk_ser.cfm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zelkova_serrata
http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/z/zelser/zelser1.html
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Zelkova+serrata
http://www.coloradotrees.org/treeomonth/2003/april_03.htm
http://www.cnr.vt.edu/dendro/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=93
http://www.virtualplanttags.com/vpt.asp?co=410087&pID=14175&cID=196&r=GIYP
http://www.sunset.com/sunset/Reference/GardenRef/WesternClimateZones.html#NorWest
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/trees-new/zelkova_serrata%20.html

Created by Yang Z. 2007