Drake Elm question - Knowledgebase Question

Orlando, Fl
Question by rmenkova
September 22, 2009
I love the look of a Drake Elm and love the shade it will provide one day. Unfortunately, I only have about 11-13 ft from the house. I read the roots are invasive. What does that mean? Can I plant this tree? Will it damage the foundation? What are the repercussions of planting it?


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Answer from NGA
September 22, 2009

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Drake elms are beautiful trees but have the potential to grow 35-45 feet tall and wide so they are not good specimens for small yards. The roots will venture out as much as one and a half times the width of the canopy. Planting one so close to your house can cause problems down the road both with branches and with roots. But there's still hope! 'Caitlin' (also listed as 'Kaitlin') is a miniature selection that forms a small tree to 15' tall with peeling bark. Various other dwarf forms, including selections with variegated leaves (such as 'Frosty'), are often grown in tight spaces. They include 'Hokkaido' and 'Stone's Dwarf'. If you can find a dwarf cultivar, you should have room to grow it in your yard.

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