PlantsUlmus→Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Chinese Elm
Give a thumbs up Lacebark Elm

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5b -26.1 °C (-15 °F) to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 40-50 feet
Plant Spread: 40-50 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Unusual foliage color
Other: Can be semi-deciduous in the far south
Fruit: Other: wafer-looking tan samaras
Fruiting Time: Fall
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: Green
Other: Greenish Yellow
Flower Time: Late summer or early fall
Suitable Locations: Street Tree
Uses: Provides winter interest
Shade Tree
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Drought tolerant
Salt tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Start indoors
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Tip
Pollinators: Wind
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil


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Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Mar 3, 2012 10:04 PM

The Chinese Elm is a deciduous to semi deciduous tree that can attain heights to 50'. Leaves are small at @ 1.5" in length and elliptical to ovate in shape. Young trees have an erect growth habit but with age become spreading and take on a vase like shape. The fruit are small flat, papery samaras that hang in clusters from the leaf axils. Insignificant flowers appear in early autumn and are greenish-yellow in color. Chinese Elms make great shade and street trees and are resistant to pests and disease, including dutch elm disease.

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Posted by homerduck (Middleburg, Florida - Zone 9a) on Oct 1, 2012 2:33 PM

Really fast growing tree. Seedlings must be kept under control continuously. They pop up everywhere in the yard and garden.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Oct 6, 2018 4:29 PM

Lacebark Elm is the better name, but it can be called the True Chinese Elm; a name once confused with the other "Chinese" Elm that is better called the Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila), which is its ugly big sister, though I have seen a few Siberian Elms that look good. Lacebark Elm is usually a smaller medium sized tree of about 25 to 35 feet high, but in the South it can get to 50 feet high or more. The scientific species name is from Latin that is "parvifolia" that means small-leaved. The small leaves are shiny, dark, thick, and only 3/4 to 2.5 inches long by 1/3 to 1.3 inches wide. The fall color can be a good yellow to red-purple, especially in the South, but sometimes it is a poor yellowish-green depending. Unlike most elms, this species flowers in August-September and then fruits in October-November. It is commonly or somewhat commonly planted in the South and Mid-Atlantic USA. I've seen a very few doing well in the Chicago, IL area of Zone 5a. In the Mid-Atlantic I see it planted much more in public landscapes, parks, campuses, and office or industrial parks than in the average homeowner's yard, as landscape architects know it much better than the homeowner. It is sort of twiggy, but it makes a good quality tree. The species is native to China, Korea, and Japan. I have not seen it escape cultivation in the North USA.

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Plant Events from our members
AndreA33 On April 10, 2011 Seeds sown
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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Recommend a 25'-50' shade tree, zone 9-10 by TheaTKelley Feb 6, 2021 6:47 PM 2
What type of tree is this? by aljohn123 Jul 10, 2020 8:22 PM 4
fast growing shade tree for california zone 9b by ninashreeyahoocom May 25, 2020 6:13 PM 4
New to bonsai - please help! :) by Clorgan Aug 25, 2020 9:45 AM 9
Identify two plants by footballfangb Feb 11, 2020 11:04 PM 6
Mulberry tree? by MarineCory Jun 2, 2020 3:50 PM 6
Is this a Chinese Elm? by madsensh Oct 3, 2019 1:55 AM 2
Did I buy a dud? by LolaTasmania Oct 25, 2019 11:26 AM 17
Trees of unkown origin by MarineCory Nov 2, 2019 10:49 AM 6
Identification by Cluelesssteve Aug 3, 2019 5:21 PM 7

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