At Native Forest Nursery we grow bare root seedlings and #3 container trees. Our container trees are grown in a #3 air pruned pot. This root making container eliminates nearly all potential for root wrapping. This allows for an excellent root structure and delivers an extremely healthy tree. The bare root seedlings at our nursery are grown in a sandy loam soil with high organic matter content, which provides an extremely healthy environment for our seedlings. Our bare root liners and seedlings are hand lifted, packaged, and kept in cold storage until you are ready to plant. Conservation uses for our products include reclamation, mitigation, reforestation, restoration, wildlife habitat improvement and wetland uses. Horticultural uses for our products include field liners, container liners, landscape plantings, budding stock, grafting stock and ornamental uses.

Family: Ulmaceae
Latin Name: Ulmus parvifolia
Foliage: Dark green
Fall Foliage: Red, purple, and yellow
Bloom: Insignificant
Bloom Time: September
Shape: Rounded
Bark: Brownish gray and mottled
Sun: Full sun
Zone: Zone 5 to Zone 9
Size: 40 to 50 feet
Spread: 25 to 40 feet
Care: Medium, well drained soil

Ulmus Parvifolia—the Chinese Elm—is native to central China, Japan, and Korea. It is characterized by its curvy, rounded structure, rearing up to 40-50 ft. with a 25-40 ft. spread, and is also distinguished by its radiant leathery foliage and its richly-colored exfoliating bark. The Chinese Elm’s flowers aren’t showy; they appear in late summer or early autumn and quickly give way to the tree’s russet-toned winged seeds which greatly help to promulgate the species. Highly resistant to the Dutch elm disease and other pests that plague most elms, the Chinese Elm appeared in the United States in the middle of the 19th century. With a 5-9 hardiness zone rating, it has been since regarded as a decent substitute to the American Elm.

Very fast-growing (capable of sprouting up 2-3 ft. per year), adaptable, and winter-hardy, the Chinese Elm is a great landscape tree for temperate and chillier regions alike. It has a natural inclination to grow multiple trunks and its branches tend to droop over time. Nevertheless, the tree can easily be cultivated to grow as a single trunk and can be pruned to serve as an outstanding street tree.

Belonging to the Ulmaceae family, the Chinese Elm is similar to other elm varieties due to leave and bark. Its deciduous foliage is colored dark green in the spring and summer, turning rich shades of gold, copper, and reddish-purple in the autumn; these colors are retained as late as December or sometimes January. The tree also features a mottling brownish-gray bark with undertones of orange and gold. As color-coordinated as the savviest fashion designer, the Chinese Elm’s water-resistant heartwood can be one of a range of earthy warm colors, from russet-red to creamy tan, with an off-white sapwood that features a handsome grain pattern. Freshly cut, the wood emits a unique peppery aroma. Though typically considered too hard and tough for carving, the Chinese Elm’s timber turns easily, holds well, and steam-bends effectively—it does, however, tend to be “lively” as a wood, warping and distorting when drying.

The Chinese Elm’s versatility, high pruning tolerance, and resilience also renders it a favorite choice as a bonsai (the Japanese art form of using trees grown in containers). As a bonsai species, it is perhaps the single most widely available. It thrives best in medium well-drained soils with generous doses of full sunlight.

Mature Tree Photos: