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Chinese Elm - 'Ulmus parvilfolia'

Chinese elm is an excellent tree for your home or urban landscape. Also known as Lacebark Elm for its handsome exfoliating bark which can have orange, brown and cinnamon on the inter-trunk, the Chinese Elm will is very tolerant of even poor soils. Originally native to China, Japan, North Korea, and Vietnam, the tree is often given a poor reputation because of mistaken identity - Ulmus pumila is often marketed as "Chinese Elm" despite its short-lived, disease-ridden problems. With yellowish and reddish purple fall foliage, Chinese Elm is fairly tolerant of excessive cold and can grow fairly quickly with proper fertilization.
chinese elm

Common Name:Chinese Elm, Lacebark Elm
Popular Varieties:Across Central Park, Brea, Burgandy, Drake, Dynasty, Emer II (Allee ®), Emerald Isle, Emeral Vase, King's Choice, Milliken, Prairie Shade, Sempervirens, True Green
Type: Deciduous Shade Tree
Family: Ulmaceae
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Leaves: Leaves are lustrous dark green changing to yellowish and reddish purple in fall; fall color is usually not outstanding but appears to be better on southern grown trees than those in the north. Leaves hold late into November. Leaves are alternate, simple, elliptic to ovate or obovate, 3/4 to 3 inches long, 1/3 to 2 inches wide, acute or obtusish, unequally rounded at base, and simple or nearly simply serrate.
Size: 40 to 50 feet high and wide.
Hardiness: Zone 4 to 9. For an idea of your plant zone please visit the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
Habit: Chinese Elm is rather graceful round-headed tree often with pendulous branchlets; some forms are upright spreading, almost American elm like; others broader than tall.
Rate: Medium to fast depending on moisture and fertility levels.
Flowers: Inconspicuous, appearing in axillary clusters during August through September, essentially masked by the foliage.
Diseases & Insects: Shows considerable resistance to Dutch Elm disease and also the elm leaf and Japanese beetle.
Landscape Value: Excellent, tough, durable tree for about any situation; do not confuse it with the inferior U. pumila, Siberian Elm, which by the nursey trade is often offered as "Chinese" Elm; several authors have suggested the name Lacebark Elm to delineate it from U. pumila and provide a suitable description of its most beautiful morphological trait; some of the great gardens of the world consider this a superior tree and now we need to alert the nursery industry; Disney World, Orlando, FL., has used the tree extensively throughout the grounds.
Soil Preference: Easily transplanted, adaptable to extremes of pH and oil; best growth is achieved in moist, well drained, fertile soils; shows excellent poor soil tolerance and should be considered for urban areas.
Care: Prune in winter and water transplants thoroughly and often.
Fertilization: Fertilize an area three times the canopy spread of the tree 1 to 2 times a year with a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Only fertilize an established tree.

Planting Instructions: Dig a hole three times the diameter of the root system, with a depth no deeper than the original soil line on trunk. Break up the soil to the finest consistency possible. Place plant in hole and fill, compacting the fill dirt. Water the plant heavily to seal soil around the roots and remove air pockets. Water well, and remember to water regularly until they have started to grow.


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Interested in purchasing Chinese Elm seedlings?
This product can only be shipped during the Winter and Spring shipping season

We offer Chinese Elm seedlings in 5 1-2' plant packages for $30.00 that include shipping. For further information regarding planting procedure and technique, please visit boydnursery.net/planting/. We ship via Priority Mail from zip-code 37111 and DO NOT ship plants west of the Rocky Mountains.


We do have balled and burlap trees available in wholesale quantities. Please call with the size and quantity that you are interested in, and we will provide you with a quote. Wholesale orders are shipped dependent upon the customer's needs.

1-2 Foot Chinese Elm Seedling Wholesale Prices
Wholesale orders DO NOT include shipping.
Order Size
Price per Tree
50-99 trees
$2.00
100-299 trees
$1.25
300-999 trees
$1.00
1000+ trees
$0.75

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