Green Vase Zelkova – Zelkova serrata var. "Green Vase"

Green Vase Zelkova
Zelkova serrata
var. "Green Vase"
Green Vase Zelkova is a shade tree with resistance to Dutch Elm disease. USDA Hardiness zone 5.

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Green Vase Zelkova foliage
The species epithet serrata refers to the serrated leaf edges
Japanese Zelkova is a large shade tree maturing at about 60' tall.  It grows rapidly when young, slowing during middle age. This tree loves full sun but will tolerate some shade. Prefers moist, well-drained, deep soil but is very adaptable and urban tolerant.

Though a member of the elm family, it has no disease or pest problems of significance, including Dutch Elm Disease. It may be the best replacement for the American Elm (Ulmus americana), although it is not nearly as tall or arching as American elm. Due to its very dense canopy when young, it should be periodically thinned to allow light flow into the interior canopy and to reduce the number of branches originating at the vase branch point.

Leaves: alternate, ovate, serrated to crenate margins, with a short acuminate tip and a base that is equal on both sides of the petiole. Dark green and clean summer foliage transitions to a very appealing mixture of yellow, gold, orange, burgandy, red, and wine fall color, in October and early November. 

Variants — Zelkova serrata 'Green Vase' – more upright-vased in growth habit with strongly ascending branches, rapidly growing, to 65' tall by 55' wide, with yellow-orange to bronze-red fall color. Zelkova serrata 'Village Green' – more round-vased at maturity, to 45' tall by 40' wide, with wine-red fall color.

Green Vase Zelkova
Zelkova serrata var. "Green Vase"
Japanese Zelkova is very sensitive to being transplanted in autumn, and care should be taken to amend the soil, fertilize, water thoroughly, mulch adequately, and avoid salt aerosols.
Green Vase Zelkova bark

  1. Green Vase Zelkova, Morton Arboretum accession 150-94-1, photos © Bruce Marlin
  2. The Morton Arboretum, Dutch Elm Disease
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Family Ulmaceae – Zelkovas, Hackberries and Elms
There are about 200 species of trees and shrubs in Ulmaceae. Elms fell victim to Dutch Elm disease during the 1950s; until that time, they were the premier shade tree along the streets of our American towns and cities. The Morton Arboretum in past years has bred and marketed five new elm varieties resistant to Dutch elm disease.
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