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Botanical Name: Zelkova serrata 'Village Green'

Common Name: Japanese Zelkova
Origin: Japan/China/Korea
Locations: CNE

Notable Feature: Noted for its graceful shape, clean foliage, attractive mottled bark, and resistance to Dutch Elm Disease. Zelkova is in the same family (Ulmaceae) as the American Elm (Ulmus americana) and has been promoted in recent years as an excellent substitute because of this disease resistance as well as its habit.

Habit: A medium to large deciduous tree, typically growing to 50 to 80 feet tall and just as wide with a spreading, generally upward-branching, vase-shaped crown.

Flower: Monoecious (separate male and female flowers borne on the same tree).  Ornamentally insignificant, the small, yellow-green flowers occur in tight clusters along new stems.  Male flowers -- clustered in axils of lower leaves and the female flowers -- clustered in axils of upper leaves.

Fruit: Small, kidney bean-shaped drupes that measure around ¼" in diameter and ripen in the fall. Hidden by the foliage.

Foliage: Oblong-elliptic, alternate, dark green leaves up to 3 inches long with coarse, ciliate, marginal teeth, and pointed tips. The dark green foliage remains clean all summer and turns a wine red with golden overtones in the fall.

Bark: Polished, almost cherry-like appearance becoming grey and exfoliating with age, exposing orange patches of inner bark.

Interesting Fact: The cultivar ‘Village Green’ is an open pollinated seedling that was introduced into commerce in the 1960s by Princeton Nurseries, Princeton, New Jersey. Patent documents claim this cultivar is distinguished from the species by its rapid growth, straight and smooth trunks, upright vase shape, dark green foliage with rusty red fall color, and good resistance to leaf eating and bark beetles.

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