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Common Name:

Japanese Zelkova

Scientific Name:

Zelkova serrata

Family Name:

Ulmaceae

Description:

Japanese Zelkova is a medium size tree that may be a viable substitute for American Elm (Ulmus americana) if a vase shape is desired. The short stalky trunk has flaky exfoliating orange-brown bark that is ornamental. Information on the species' use in Texas is limited, but it appears to have potential.

Plant Habit or Use:

Medium tree, large tree

Exposure:

sun

Flower Color:

Not ornamental

Blooming Period:

Spring

Fruit Characteristics:

Inconspicuous

Height:

50 ft to 60 ft, upright vase-shaped habit

Width:

40 ft to 50 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: Medium Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Medium Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Medium Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

8.00
Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

6, 7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Bark is remeniscent of that of Ulmus parvifolia, but is not as aesthetically effective; resistant to most pests and diseases of Ulmus spp.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.