Native to China, Korea, and Japan, this elm species is widely used across North America due to its hardiness and tolerance of urban conditions. Resistant but not immune to Dutch elm disease, with exfoliating mottled bark that provides some winter interest.
Culture for Chinese Elm
Adaptable to wide range of soil conditions, performs well on all but very poorly drained sites. Moderately drought tolerant, this tree will require some summer irrigation in very dry climates, but well established mature trees usually do not need supplemental irrigation.
Concerns about Chinese Elm
Very fast grower with tendency toward multiple co-dominant branches/leads. Somewhat susceptible to elm leaf beetle damage. Anthracnose or elm black spot may cause heavy defoliation if wet conditions are present during leaf expansion. Root damaged or drought stressed plants susceptible to bark beetle attack. Also may be infested with aphids, leading to leaf stippling, honeydew, and sooty mold.
Management Practices for Chinese Elm
Treat foliage preventatively for anthracnose/black spot on trees with history of disease or if conducive weather conditions are present. Treat lower stems preventatively against borer attack if root damage has occurred or during drought. Monitor for leaf beetle and aphids and treat as warranted. Structural pruning is critical for this fast growing species.