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Tree of the Month: Chinese Elm/Evergreen Elm

Scientific: Ulmus parvifolia

Common: Chinese elm, Evergreen elm, Lacebark elm

Family: Ulmaceae

Origin: China

Hardiness Zones: Sunset 8,9, 12-24 | USDA 6-11

Form & Character: Upright, inverted vase with an open canopy and umbrella top spread, small branches are weeping especially if propagated from stem cutting. With training. It is duly noted that Chinese elm can have the quintessential inverted vase form that’s ideal for trees in urban settings.

Size/Growth Habit: Woody, semi-evergreen perennial tree, Moderate to fast to 40 to 60 feet with equal spread.

Foliage/Texture: Small 1 to 3 inches long, elliptic to ovate leaves with serrate margins and an in-equilaterally or cuneate base, alternate arrangement, ‘bark’ is shed in a ‘puzzle-piece’ fashion; medium fine texture.

Flowers/Fruits: Flowers greenish yellow in late summer of year followed by single-winged samara that are greenish pink in late fall to winter.

Seasonal Color: Brilliant, light green foliage in spring, sometimes yellowish-red fall to winter color from foliage during cooler falls and early cold winters. Stays evergreen though in coastal southern California.

Temperature: Hardy, but in Phoenix the foliage will become marginally necrotic in late summer and early fall due to summer heat stress.

Stems/Trunks: The bark is shed in a ‘puzzle-piece’ fashion; medium fine texture.

Light: Full sun

Soil: Tolerant

Watering: To maintain vigor, irrigate regularly during spring, summer and early fall. Supplemental water also improves appearance.

Comments: One of the best shade trees for the lower Arizona desert landscapes. Chinese evergreen elm has the quintessential urban form.

Outdoor Living Hour Tree of the Month: #ChineseElm #EvergreenElm #LacebarkElm

For more info view the full plant specifications from Dr. Chris Martin: Chinese Elm/Evergreen Elm/Lacebark Elm



Plants, trees and shrubs create an elegant landscape. Agriscaping creates an elegant EDIBLE landscape. Guest Justin Rohner discusses our Tree Of The Month the Evergreen Elm which has edible components. And details what it takes to create a successful edible landscape by identifying microclimates and shade that could give you a year round harvest.
Podcast Archive With Expanded Content and Resources


Tree experts John Eisenhower and Gary Peterson of SavATree are joined by Landscape Architect Janet Waibel to discuss the Tree Of The Month: the Chinese/Evergreen Elm and the many benefits of trees from shade to privacy.


Certified Arborist Sarah Maitland of SavATree is joined by Aimee Esposito of Trees Matter whose mission is to promote an increased tree canopy. The Tree Of The Month: The Chinese Elm.


John Eisenhower & Sarah Maitland of SavATree discuss the Tree Of The Month Chinese Elm, a great shade tree that adapts to limited growing areas.



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