Japanese zelkova Ulmaceae Zelkova
serrata (Thunb.) Makino
Leaf: Alternate, simple, ovate with an acuminate tip, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long, pinnately veined, serrate with rounded over teeth; leaves are dark green above and much paler below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; yellow-green, not showy, occur in tight clusters along new stems; appearing before the leaves.
Fruit: A small triangular drupe, 1/6 inch long, green and later turning brown, maturing in mid to late summer.
Twig: Very slender, zigzag, red-brown in color; buds are reddish brown, cone-shaped, pointed, and widely divergent.
Bark: Smooth and red-brown to gray when young with numerous lenticels; remains smooth for many years but eventually exfoliates into small patches, reddish brown in color.
Form: A small to medium size tree to 80 feet; low branching vase-shaped tree with very tight branch angles. This appearance is maintained when very young and when very old.
Looks like: Siberian elm - Chinese elm
Additional Range Information: Zelkova serrata is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and is not known to widely escape cultivaton.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson