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Lacebark Elm

Scientific Name

Ulmus parvifolia


Native of north and central China, Korea and Japan


Tends to be found in woodland settings. Highly tolerant of a wide variety of soils, but in the wild it prefers rich soil near a source of water at elevations below 2500 ft.     

Growth Nature

A fast growing deciduous tree reaching heights of 40 to 50 ft. with a spread of 25 to 40 ft.  Tends not to have a central leader and takes on a roundish shape with age. With age the bark begins to exfoliate.

Points of Interest

  • Also known as the true “Chinese Elm”, sometimes confused with the Siberian Elm. 

  • Name comes from the exfoliating bark which is its most ornamental feature.  Flaking reveals patches of gray, cream, orange, brown and green.

  • Has been adopted in this country for use as a shade tree.

  • Leaves and bark have supposed medicinal qualities and have been used in the past for a variety of ailments including treatment of fevers, neuritis, as a diuretic and an expectorant.

  • The wood is strong, durable and heavy.  Is used in furniture, paneling, and has been used in ship building.

  • Elms in general tend to hold up well in heavy snow and ice storms.