Chinese Elm

Ulmus parvifolia ‘Drake’ / ‘Sempervirens’ / ‘True Green’

Ulmus parvifolia (Chinese Elm) - full view

Full view

Ulmus parvifolia (Chinese Elm) - leaves

Foliage detail

Ulmus parvifolia (Chinese Elm) - bark

Bark detail

  • Size:

    Height: 40-60'; Spread: 50-70'

  • Growth:


  • Character:

    Semideciduous; spreading form with weeping limbs; dense canopy.

  • Foliage:

    Dark green, serrated, oval leaves 1-2" long. Fall foliage is yellow or reddish purple. In cold winters, tree can lose leaves December-February. Tree is usually never fully bare in San Francisco.

  • Flower:

    Insignificant flowers. Brown, winged fruit, 1/2" long, forms in fall and drops.

  • Fruit:

    Brown, winged fruit, 1/2" long, forms in fall and drops.

  • Bark:

    Mottled, light gray-brown trunk.

  • Watering:

    In general, 15-20 gallons per week for the first 2 years; 15-20 gallons twice a month for the 3rd year; as needed after 3 years (varies by soil, sun, and wind conditions).

  • Tree Care:

    High. Early pruning to establish and maintain a central leader and to develop good branch structure.

  • Tolerance:

    Drought (once established), poor drainage, any soil.

  • Special Considerations:

    Prefers sun. Does not tolerate strong winds. Subject to anthracnose.

  • Notable Traits:

    Native to China, Korea, and Japan. Willow-like form with lacy foliage and attractive bark. Resists pests and diseases, including Dutch elm disease. Quickly creates shady canopies. 'Drake' resists anthracnose better than other Chinese Elms.