This spring if you are looking to add a plant to your garden that can provide some winter interest, consider adding Japanese Zelkova. This ornamental tree features pretty orange striped bark when young. As the tree matures the bark becomes corky and flaky showing the orange underneath. This can be a lovely texture and color to give your garden some interest in the winter months.
Zelkova is a fast growing tree often adding 12” – 24” per year. It gets large over time with an overall mature hight of 50′ – 80′ and a width of 50′ – 75′. The canopy becomes upright and vase shaped at maturity. Because of this shape it is an excellent replacement for the American Elm.
Photo credit: Mullenkedheim on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA
Full sun is ideal for this tree as it requires around 6 hours of sun to preform best. It likes a wide range of soil types and tolerates drought and compacted soil once mature. This makes it very tolerant of urban conditions. It is also very wind tolerant.
Photo credit: Dakiny on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND
Fall is one of the times this tree really shines offering yellow and orange fall color. It can look stunning when planted in a clump of 3-5. The bright color stands out well when planted in front of a group of evergreens.
Prune when young to establish desired shape. The best time to prune is late fall to early winter when the tree is dormant.