How long do chinese elm trees live

Chinese Elm Tree — What Do You Need to Know? Complete Guide

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It is often difficult to find trees that work well in a backyard, along the sidewalk, or as part of a larger landscape. Most gardeners are overwhelmed by their choices and often pick something that grows in abundance in their neighborhoods.

If you like this care guide, then you will also want to check our guide on how to raise and take care of hickory trees.

But there is one choice that is often overlooked. It is a beautiful large plant that is not only attractive and graceful, but also fast-growing and disease resistant.

It features dark-green foliage and weeping branches. Should the leaves not change color, then you can feast your eyes on its colorful bark.

Can you guess which eye-catching specimen we are thinking about? That’s right, it is the Chinese elm.

If you are looking for an attractive addition to your property, look no further. This is the right one for you—whether you are a hobby gardener or a seasoned landscape designer.

Keep reading to find out all you need to know about this particular species.

What You’ll Learn

The Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia) is native to China, North Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. It is commonly known as lacebark elm.

The plant is hardy, growing in USDA zones 5 through 10. Whether it is deciduous or evergreen depends on the climate in which it grows. In a continuously warm climate, the shrub is evergreen.

The species grows very quickly. At maturity, it has reached an average height of 40 to 50 feet with a similar spread. However, some can grow up to 70 feet, if conditions are ideal.

The Chinese elm develops an upright, round, and graceful, thick canopy that is filled with long arching branches, resulting in a vase-like shape. Branches fill with glossy, attractive, 1-inch dark green leaves.

If the species is grown in the colder parts of its hardiness zone, owners can expect brilliant fall colors. In autumn, leaves turn into bright shades of purple, yellow, and red. In warmer areas, the green leaves can take on a yellow hue. One advantage is that the dropped foliage typically doesn’t create a litter problem for the surrounding landscape.

In late summer, the trees produce little greenish-red flowers. Spent flowers then develop into clusters of flat, single-seeded, winged-samara fruit that are papery-feeling. The fruit matures in fall.

Although often mistaken for a Chinese elm, a Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila) is an unrelated species. The Siberian elm has gray, deeply furrowed bark. Although it is also a quickly growing woody perennial, its branches break easily, and it is susceptible to many diseases and pests. It is considered invasive in many areas and overall inferior

Care Guide

If planted in preferred conditions and given proper care, a Chinese elm can live anywhere from 50 to 150 years.

Getting your tree off to its best start prevents potential future problems.

Preferred Amount of Sun

One of the good things about the species is that it tolerates a wide range of light conditions. It grows well in full sun to partial shade. It is unlikely to prosper when planted in full shade.

Although the plant tolerates various light conditions, full sun brings the best growth.

Preferred Soil Conditions

Another bonus of this species is that it adapts to various soil types. It tolerates both soil that is occasionally wet and soil that is dry. It also adapts to extreme changes in soil pH, tolerating everything from acidic to alkaline.

For the best growth, plant this woody perennial in an area with well-drained, rich loamy soil that is kept moist with regular watering.

Although the tree tolerates occasional wet feet, don’t plant it in an area where the soil is constantly wet and soggy. This can lead to root rot.

Watering Frequency

Once established, the species has a high tolerance for drought conditions. It’s forgiving, even if it hasn’t rained for a while and you forget to water it.

However, regular water applications produce the best growth, keeping the foliage looking its best.

Give a newly planted sapling a deep drink of water several times a week. Once the sapling establishes itself in about two to three months, you can cut back to weekly watering sessions.

You may have to water more frequently if your location has extremely hot and dry summers. If temperatures start rising above 100℉, water the plant two to three times weekly.

Spreading several inches of mulch around the trunk helps the soil retain moisture. 


Like all plants, this species requires periodic nutrients for healthy growth.

Fertilize the tree every couple of months during the growing season of spring through summer. Use a general-purpose blend for trees, and apply as directed by the manufacturer.

When applying the fertilizer, spread it evenly under the tree’s canopy. Be sure not to bunch the fertilizer up against the trunk to prevent burning.

Once applied, water the fertilizer into the soil.

Unique Qualities

Besides its hardiness, Chinese elm trees have some unique qualities that make them an eye-catching asset of every landscape.

The tree has a resistance to several pests and diseases that have decimated native elms. It is usually resistant to Dutch elm disease, which is spread by bark beetles.

The shrub also has a resistance to phloem necrosis, a deadly disease that is spread by root grafts of leafhoppers. There’s no cure once the tree is infected, but this species can withstand it.

Chinese elms also show good resistance to Japanese beetles and the elm leaf beetle.

Chinese elms have many positive attributes, which make them an excellent, but underutilized landscape tree.

Aside from their attractive dark-green leaves and graceful branches, the shrubs feature an exfoliating bark. As the bark peels away, the trunk displays molten patterns of green, orange, brown, gray, and cream. This feature is a stunning addition to any landscape design.

But the biggest bonus, besides a graceful beauty, is the ability to thrive in many conditions.

When considering a location to plant the elm permanently, always consider its mature size. You don’t want to plant it where its mature height and width interfere with structures or powerlines. Give it room to spread naturally.

Their fast growth and thick canopies make them perfect shade trees to sit and relax under to beat the summer heat.

They also are quite attractive when used as a street tree or in a sidewalk cutout. However, their roots may lift a sidewalk if planted too close.

If the size is a concern for you, consider using this species in a bonsai arrangement.

Tolerant of urban conditions, Chinese elms also work well in parking lots. They also grow well along a highway. 

Companion Plants

Gardeners can choose from a wide variety of plants that complement a Chinese elm. Whether you’re looking for low-growing groundcovers or larger plants, there’s something to suit everyone’s fancy.

Plants that thrive in the same conditions and with the same basic care make good choices.

Companion Groundcovers

Plants that work well as groundcover include:

  • Lily Turf (Liriope muscari)
  • Hosta (Hosta spp.)
  • Daffodils (Narcissus spp.)
  • Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia virginica)
  • Periwinkle (Vinca minor)

Companion Trees

If you’re looking for woody companions, the following work well:

  • Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
  • Green Giant Arborvitae (Thuja standishii x plicata ‘Green Giant’)
  • Pink Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida var. ruba)
  • Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus)
  • Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata)

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How Fast Do Elms Grow And How Long Do They Live? [By Type Of Elm]

Are you interested in planting an elm tree? If you are, you may be wondering how fast elm trees grow and how long they live. We've looked into the growth rate and the life expectancy of elms and have some answers for you. 

The average growth rate of American elm trees ranges from three to six feet per year. This range indicates that American elms grow quickly, as their annual growth exceeds 25 inches, which is the requirement that trees must meet to be considered fast-growing. The average life expectancy of American elms is 300 years. 

The growth rate and life expectancy mentioned above do not apply to all elm trees because there are numerous elm species, and growth rate and life expectancy vary from species to species. Keep reading to learn about the different growth rates and life expectancies of six common and beautiful elms, and learn how differences in elm species affect the maturity, size, and care of the trees.

How Many Species of Elm Tree are There?

There are roughly 35 different species of the elm tree. The great variation in elm species accounts for many differences among the trees, including leaf size, leaf texture, height, and the type of environment each tree requires for survival. Six common elm species include: 

  • The Camperdown Elm Tree
  • The Cedar Elm Tree 
  • The Cherry Bark Elm Tree
  • The Chinese Elm Tree
  • The European White Elm Tree
  • The Rock Elm Tree

Camperdown Elm Tree

The Camperdown elm, which originated in the United Kingdom, has twisted branches that arch toward the ground, giving it a weeping appearance. The growth rate of the Camperdown Elm is about two feet per year. When it is fully mature, the Camperdown reaches about 20 feet in height. The Camperdown's width reaches about 30 feet once the tree hits full maturity, exceeding the tree's height. The life expectancy of the Camperdown is 150 years or longer. 

Cedar Elm Tree 

Native to the Southern United States, the Cedar Elm bears the smallest leaves of any species of elm tree. The growth rate of the Cedar Elm ranges from one foot to three feet per year. At peak maturity, the Cedar Elm reaches 50 to 70 feet tall. The average life span for this southern elm is 100 years. 

Cherry Bark Elm Tree

The Cherry Bark Elm is native to Eastern Asia and the Himalayas, and it has a round, bush-like shape. Cherry Bark Elms grow anywhere from 60 to 80 feet tall after they experience peak maturity. Like the Cedar Elm, the life span of the Cherry Bark Elm is around 100 years. 

Chinese Elm Tree

The Chinese Elm, also known as the Lacebark Elm, is native to China, Vietnam, North Korea, and Japan. This elm has a round shape, and it can still thrive even after pruning, which is why it is commonly used as a bonsai tree. The annual growth rate of the Chinese Elm is about three feet, and when it is fully grown, it will be about 40 to 60 feet in height. The average life span of the Chinese Elm varies a bit, ranging from 50 to 150 years. 

European White Elm Tree

As you probably guessed, the European White Elm is native to central and southeast Europe. One of the most distinctive features of this tree is its open crown. The European White Elm typically grow to about 100 feet tall after they are fully mature—taller than any of the other previously mentioned elm trees. 

Rock Elm Tree

The Rock Elm is native to the Midwestern United States. You may also hear this tree called the Cork Elm because it has corky branches. Following full maturity, the height of this tree can range from 50 to 100 feet. The life span of the Rock Elm is an estimated 300 years, which is the longest lifespan of all the elms on this list!

How Long Does an Elm Tree Take to Mature?

Much like growth rate and life expectancy, the length of time it takes an elm tree to mature depends on the species of elm tree. Some elm trees mature faster than others because they have a faster yearly growth rate. For example, the Chinese Elm—which has a yearly growth rate of three feet—reaches maturity in about 20 years, meaning that it matures relatively quickly. However, the length of time it takes a slower-growing elm to mature may be a bit longer.

How Big Do Elm Trees Get? 

The size of elm trees is another factor that depends on elm tree species. One of the biggest elm tree species, the English Elm, can grow to 130 feet tall and spread to 50 feet wide. Conversely, one of the smallest elm tree species, the Frontier Elm, grows to about 30 feet tall and spreads to about 30 feet wide. So, as you can see, the species plays a major role in elm size!

Other factors that play a role in the size of elm trees include the type of soil the elm is planted in and the amount of sun to which it is exposed. Elm trees grow the best when they are planted in moist soil and are exposed to full sun or partial shade. So, if an elm tree isn't planted in the proper soil or exposed to the proper amount of sunlight, it probably won't grow as big as it should. 

Are Elm Trees Easy to Care For? 

There are natural characteristics of elm trees that make them fairly easy to care for. For example, elm trees are very adaptable plants; they prefer moist soil, but they can also adapt to wet or dry soil. In addition, elm trees easily endure city environments, making them good trees to line an urban street. 

After planting an elm tree, the steps involved in maintaining it are fairly simple. Directly after planting any type of elm tree, you will want to mulch it, as mulch helps the soil retain moisture.

Click here to see a mulch specifically for elm trees at Amazon. 

Be sure to water young elm trees when they haven't received enough water from rainfall, and fertilize young elms every spring.

Click here to see a fertilizer that you can use for elms at Amazon. 

One thing that can make elm trees very difficult to take care of is Dutch Elm Disease. Dutch Elm Disease is a vascular wilt disease that first appeared in elm trees in the 1930s. It is spread by elm bark beetles, which carry the disease from infected trees to noninfected trees. Dutch Elm Disease is highly lethal. 

Although Dutch Elm Disease makes caring for elms difficult, there are some things you can do to combat the disease. One thing you can do to prevent Dutch Elm Disease is water your trees in the absence of rain. Pruning your trees every few years can also help prevent the disease. 

In Closing 

The average growth rate of American Elm trees is three to six feet per year, and the average life expectancy of American Elms is 300 years. However, many different elm species exist, and this growth rate and life expectancy vary based on species. Elm species also helps determine when an elm will reach maturity and how big the elm will get. Remember that elm species are fairly easy to take care of, unless they become infected with Dutch Elm Disease, which is a major threat. 

With this information about growth rates, life expectancies, and caring for elm trees, you should be set to add an elm to your yard!

90,000 A 700-year-old elm that inspires awe. Sacred tree Kieli Agash

This place attracts pilgrims from all over the world and surprises curious tourists with its energy. People come here for healing and just to see the unique long-lived tree Kieli Agash. will tell you what legends are about the oldest tree in Kazakhstan.

The ancient grove is located 30 kilometers from Zharkent. The very name of the tree, elm, comes from the Turkic "kara" - "black" + "agach" - "tree". Karagach, whose scientific name is elm, or elm (lat. Úlmus), according to scientists, appeared on the planet about 40 million years ago.

Elm life expectancy is from 80 to 120 years, some specimens live up to 400 years. This is the first riddle of Kieli Agash - how could a tree remain viable for so many years?

Translated from the Kazakh language Kieli Agash means "sacred tree", it is also called Aulie Agash (holy tree), its other name is also known - Ulken Agash. The girth of the tree is 6.5 meters, and it takes six adults to hug its trunk.

The tree is considered sacred; until recently, its branches were decorated with scarves and ribbons, which pilgrims tied when making their most cherished wish.

There is a legend about its origin. According to the legend, the rich merchant Baibosyn once stopped in these places, who led caravans along the Great Silk Road. Once he stopped in this place for the night, he stuck his staff into the ground. In the morning he saw in the place of his staff a small tree of a young elm.


The old elm tree is surrounded by a shady grove, where gazebos and paths are laid for tourists and pilgrims. The sacred tree is under the protection of the shiraksha Rai-apai (guardian or caretaker), who watches over the tree. For more than 20 years, she has been meeting pilgrims, offering them to taste the tree sap that accumulates at the roots of the tree, telling them legends about healing. Allegedly, the spirits of ancestors live in these places, to see one of them - a snake living at the roots of a tree - is a great success. People come here before the operation and to ask the tree to fulfill their deepest desires. They stay in a special guest house, where they are treated to fragrant tea and tell amazing stories of healing those who ask the Almighty for mercy.

Interesting fact:

The oldest tree on the planet is located in California. It appeared almost five thousand years ago, during the time of the Sumerian civilization and the construction of the Egyptian pyramids and temples, and after so many millennia it still remains alive. The age of Methuselah, the tree was named after the biblical forefather, is 4,851 years! The tree is referred to as the spinous pine (Pinus longaeva). Methuselah grows on the slope of the White Mountains in the Inyo National Forest, California, USA, at an altitude of more than 3,000 meters above sea level.

Scientists working in the park have calculated the age of another pine tree - 5,070 years. The tree has not yet acquired a name, if the data is confirmed, it will become the oldest living plant on Earth, which witnessed the creation of the world according to the Mayan calendar.

What the ancient tree looked like before the arson, @turan_tv

Pilgrims note that other, younger trees seem to reach out to the mighty Kieli Agash against sunlight, which goes against the laws of nature.

Interesting fact:

And on the island of Socotra in Yemen, an unusual dragon tree grows. Locals treat illnesses with its blood-red juice.

Who attempted on Kieli Agash?

In 2010, attackers tried to set fire to a tree. They doused it with diesel fuel, but could not burn it, so the vandals decided to burn the lower branches. They set fire to a car tire, the molten drops of which burned the branches of the tree below, but surprisingly the tree itself remained intact and did not suffer.

Sacred tree before the tragedy, @chudnijmir

Local rangers warn pilgrims not to take a single branch from here without permission.

How to find:

The sacred tree Kieli Agash is located 320 kilometers from Almaty, in the village of Koktal, 30 kilometers from Zharkent. This is the Panfilovsky district of the Almaty region. The path to it runs through a beautiful landscape, along the way you can see the canyons of the Dzungarian Alatau.

In conclusion, we hope that the coronavirus pandemic will end soon and the borders for travel will be reopened.

Green World

Revolution Park is over 90 years old, but there are still a few trees that were planted in the year of foundation. But besides the "old-timers" there are also young exotic plants. Today, over 2,000 trees grow on an area of ​​about 16.4 hectares. Let's talk about them in more detail.


Revolution Park was founded in 1926-1927. as a cultural territory uniting two cities - Rostov and Nakhichevan. In the year of its foundation, first of all, trees were planted in the park that grew in the Rostov region: elms and black poplar.

Elms are usually large trees with round, dense crowns.


In ancient times, people called the sycamore oriental "maple" because its leaves look like maple leaves. It belongs to one of the largest trees on our planet. It is known that in ancient times there were rare specimens of huge plane trees, in the shade of which up to a hundred people could hide. A whole alley of these young trees was planted by volunteers in 2016.


On both sides of the central alley, which runs through the entire park from Theater Square to Kajaani Lane, young linden trees are planted. They came to replace poplars, on the fluff of which many townspeople are allergic.

When linden blossoms, it emits a pleasant fragrance. It is a good honey plant. 78 trees of this species have been planted in our park.


The dark stripes and streaks on the trunk make white birch easily endure both heat and cold. White birch grows in many places in the park: the youngest trees are planted by volunteers near the rope park. Older trees can be seen near the Lecture Hall.


Ash groves always have an abundance of sun. Each leaf contributes, opening the way for the sun with the slightest breath of breeze. Ash flowers have the appearance of panicles. It was from them that in childhood all the girls made earrings for themselves.

Pedunculate oak

The oldest inhabitants of the park are oaks. Walking along the southeastern part of the grove, one can easily notice several majestic trees with a wide massive trunk and high crown. The oak of this breed is a native inhabitant of the Rostov region.

The oldest oak in the park is about 90 years old, but this age is far from the limit for such a tree. Oaks grow up to 500 years.


Gleditsia are spreading deciduous trees up to 25–30 meters high. Plants usually have thorns. The flowers are very fragrant, the plant is a honey plant. In our park, honey locust has become known as "its own doctor." More than once, after strong winds, a longitudinal crack appeared on its trunk, but after a month the tree healed itself: the crack grew together.


The sugar maple is the national symbol of Canada. Syrup is made from it, which is added to various products. In the park, young trees are planted in different places. It's not hard to see him. The reverse side of the maple leaves has a silver tint. For this, the maple was nicknamed "silver" by the people.

White acacia

Every year at the end of May, Rostov exudes the aroma of "fragrant clusters" of white acacia. Revolution Park is no exception.

Ginkgo tree

Ginkgo Biloba is the highlight of the park, a contemporary of the dinosaurs. It is the progenitor of all coniferous trees.

In ancient times, plants of the Ginkgo class were widely distributed on Earth. But during the ice age, they could not stand the cold and died. Miraculously, only one species survived - Ginkgo biloba, which grows in Japan and in the mountains of China. Its leaves do not have venation, which is very rare, and in shape they resemble the fans of Japanese women.

Three young trees have been planted in our park, near the stop of the children's steam locomotive.


Shrub or small tree whose branches are covered with pink flowers in May.

Such a charming plant is common in the eastern and western Mediterranean, China and North America. The people call it the Judas tree, or purple. There is a legend that Judas hanged himself on it after his betrayal, and the tree, which used to bloom with white flowers, now blooms with pink ones.

In our park, several cerses are planted to the right along the alley that leads from the main stage to the Russian Railways building.


Juniper is a distant relative of pines and firs. Lives for 1000 years and cleans the air well. It has the unique ability to heal with its resinous aroma.

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