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Green Vase Zelkova is a fast-growing tree that deserves to be planted more often. This large shade tree is often compared to the American Elm because of its similar stately, arching habit, but Zelkova’s a smarter choice to plant today because it’s much more resistant to Dutch Elm Disease than American Elm. Green Vase will give you a cool, shady spot beneath its canopy for picnicking or lounging, and a row of Japanese Zelkova trees will line your driveway in style. Planted to the south of your house, this deciduous tree will shade your home in summer, while letting in the sunshine in winter. It might even help you save a bit on heating and cooling!
- Hardiness Zone: 5-8
- Spacing: 35-45'
- Exposure: Full Sun
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The Princeton Nursery was founded in Kingston New Jersey by William Flemer Sr. in 1913. After years of searching for a new site to grow his business, Flemer chose Kingston for its nutrient rich soil and location which was halfway between New York and Philadelphia. Flemer continued to buy land and property to provide housing for his many employees. At its peak the nursery grew to 1200 acres and was the largest commercial nursery in the United States. Through the Great Depression the nursery survived by growing farm crops and using German prisoners of war for labor. William Flemer III, specialized in breeding and introduced many new varieties of shade and ornamental trees. The nursery was granted dozens of patents including Green Vase Japanese Zelkova. The nursery closed in 2010 but more than 240 acres of the nursery have been preserved along with 25 historic structures. Here you can still find many of the beautiful trees introduced and planted by the Flemer family.
Definitely a unique addition to your landscape. A vase shape with upright arching branches. Dark green leaves turn bronze-red in fall. A true specimen - an awesome focal point in any landscape. Considered the replacement for the Great American Elm. A Gold Medal Plant Award winner from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society for its outstanding performance, hardiness, and eye-appeal.
How to Grow
To quote one of the growers here on the nursery, this is the “best tree on Earth!” It is reminiscent of the good ol’ American Elm in that it is a pretty fast grower – though it’s debatable if it is faster than the Elm (I had to break up a fist-fight… believe me - it wasn’t pretty). The Japanese Zelkova prefers sunny locations and soils that range from moist to dry. This “wonder tree” is hardier than the Lacebark Elm and it makes a great street and city tree because of its pollution tolerance. Zelkovas are free of any major insect pests as well. The Japanese Zelkova is pretty easy-going when it comes to maintenance. After you plant your tree, apply a yearly dose of medium rate fertilizer for the first 3 or 4 years. Fall is the best time for applying fertilizer and this supplies your Zelkova with essential nutrients for producing lush new growth for the following spring. Pruning is very rarely needed.
Questions & Answers
Q: I read that the Japanese Zelkova is 'fast growing' - will this result in weak wood?
A: Yes, the Japanese Zelkova is fast growing, however, this will NOT result in weak wood. This Tree has no history whatsoever of weak wood and is still one of the most recommended Trees by city arborists. Just remember, fast growing does not always equal weak wood.
Q: I read that they are 'deep rooted'. Can I pretty much rule out damage to the two driveways since they are so close?
A: The Japanese Zelkova is known for having deeper roots when compared to other large Trees (re: Maples). Despite that, you cannot rule out damage to driveways - eventually. Do not let that scare you away though! This Tree won't begin possibly causing issues for another 30-50 years - you've got plenty of time.
This graphic shows the approximate size and form of the Tree you are viewing.
Size B Trees:
8-10' tall. Grown in our #15 tree container in this size. Stem caliper 1 1/2". Limbed up high for street tree planting. Excellent canopy and structure.
Size C Trees:
10-12' Tall Grown in our #20 or #25 tree container. A great tree for your landscape.
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