University of Florida

Chinese Elm

Chinese elm is a great tree for many North and Central Florida yards.

It has a spreading canopy that creates plenty of welcoming shade in the summer. The tree’s interesting bark also makes it a showstopper in the winter. The outer grey bark peels back in irregular sections to reveal an orange- or cinnamon-colored layer underneath. For this reason, the tree is sometimes called lacebark elm.

Proper pruning is essential with Chinese elm and other elm trees. Prune them selectively to help them develop one dominant trunk, and remove any low-hanging limbs early to create adequate clearance under the tree.

These trees typically grow forty to fifty feet tall and thirty-five to fifty feet wide, making them suitable for many smaller yards.

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