Zelkova serrata ‘Green Vase’
‘Green Vase’ is an open pollinated seedling that was introduced into commerce in the 1980s by Princeton Nurseries in Princeton, New Jersey. Patent documents claim this cultivar is distinguished from species plants and other cultivars by its narrower upright growth with vase-shaped crown, more rapid growth when young, better winter hardiness, better drought resistance in heavy soils, larger/paler green foliage, orange-bronze (rather than rusty red) fall color and good foliar resistance to airborne pollutants. ‘Green Vase’ grows taller than an earlier Flemer cultivar, ‘Village Green’.
Zelkova serrata was imported from Japan as a replacement for the embattled elm, which, with its upright branching and graceful form, it resembles. It grows to 60 to 80 feet in full sun, with a 50 to 60 foot spread. It tolerates most soil types, even growing in rocky or gravelly areas. Flowers appear in spring, and are small and yellowish green, followed by 3″ long serrated spear-shaped leaves. Fall color ranges from yellow-orange to red-brown. Smooth gray bark in youth exfoliates with age to reveal orange-brown inner bark.