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Botanical Name: Ulmus parvifolia
Common Name: Lacebark Elm
Origin: E. Asia
Notable Feature: Also known as the Chinese Elm, this handsome tree is noted for its excellent foliage, multi-colored bark, rapid growth, and good resistance to Dutch Elm Disease.
Habit: A majestic, medium-sized, deciduous tree that typically grows to 40 to 50 feet tall and about as wide with a rounded crown and long pendulous branching. A tough tree that is graceful and very durable.
Flower: Perfect (bisexual) flower, light green, apetalous, and borne in small, tight clusters; ornamentally inconspicuous. Bloom occurs in late summer into early fall.
Fruit: Wafer-like samara in which each tiny seed is surrounded by a flattened circular papery wing. Elliptic to ovate in shape, 1/2” long, light reddish brown, and borne in tight clusters in late fall.
Foliage: Lustrous dark green, alternate leaves turn yellow then purplish red in fall. Elliptic to ovate in shape, the 2 to 3-inch long leaves are margined with small teeth. The base of the leaf is conspicuously inequilateral.
Bark: One of the most ornamental features is its mottled bark. On mature trees, bark flakes and exfoliates to reveal patches of gray, cream, orange, brown, and green,
giving rise to its common name lacebark elm.
Interesting Fact: It has proven to be highly resistant, but not immune, to both the Dutch Elm Disease and the Elm Leaf Beetle, both of which have been highly destructive to our native American Elm. It is a popular choice as a bonsai species, especially for beginners because of its high tolerance of pruning.