Chinese Elm Trees Create Shade!

Chinese Elm Trees Create Shade!

By Felipe Benavides on June, 12 2018

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Felipe Benavides

Felipe has been working in the Nursery and Garden center for many years and bring extensive knowledge to trees, plants, and landscape design.

Chinese ElmThe Chinese Elm is a favorite shade tree in the United States, especially in Arizona. Do we ever get used to the summertime heat? Some people do. The good news for those that never get used to the bright sun and heat is that you don’t have to spend all your time indoors. As comfortable as an air-conditioned room can be, we can get a little stir-crazy staying indoors all-day long. Trees can come to the rescue! Plant specimen trees and get ready to breathe some fresh air.


Chinese Elm: A Valuable Shade Tree for the Desert Landscape

Trees are a valuable and essential part of the desert landscape. They provide a resting spot for those of us that don’t want to be cooped up indoors because of the blistering sunshine. Beautiful shade trees increase property value and add color to our arid environment, too. Can you imagine our native landscape without trees? We sure can’t! So, if you are looking for a tree that can block the sunlight, look no further than the Chinese Elm tree.

There are a couple of different varieties of Chinese Elm available. Varieties include ‘True Green,’ ‘Drake,’ ‘Sempervirens,’ ‘Allee,’ ‘Dynasty,’ and ‘Everclear.’ There are even dwarf varieties that are commonly used for bonsai. In fact, Ulmus parvifolia is one of the most popular bonsai trees. Of these varieties, many homeowners tend to agree that the ‘Tue Green’ and ‘Drake’ Chinese Elm are the most attractive of all. They feature small, deep-green leaves that stay attractive, even in the summer!

Don’t let the summer sun keep you from being outside. After all, it’s the summer and the days are longer! Fire up the barbecue, start a game of horseshoes, or just lounge by the pool or patio. Plant this shade tree in your landscape and feel free to enjoy your view, and our majestic desert scenery no matter how sunny it gets outside. Here’s why. Chinese Elm, botanical name Ulmus parvifolia, grows fast, so you will not be waiting too long to enjoy a picturesque and comfortable spot in your yard. In fact, once you have one of these trees in your landscape, you will be glad to know that you can expect to have excellent shade coverage at an early age! Feel free to rest and picnic under its umbrella-shaped canopy – it can spread up to 70-feet wide!

Did you know that the Chinese Elm is the only elm species that can tolerate the severity of the low-level elevation of the Arizona desert?


An Excellent Shade Tree for a Small Landscape (And Large Landscapes, Too!)

In the United States, and throughout our area, Chinese Elm is often found in yards as a patio tree or sunscreen. It can grow up to 60 feet tall, with a vase-like shape and a spreading, weeping branch habit that can create a comfortable spot outdoors, even when the sun is in full force. Of course, this tree grows fast. However, buying a big specimen tree is your best bet to take advantage of all its incredible characteristics. You see, when appropriately placed around the home, a big specimen can block out the sunlight that hits the house, which can help lower the inside room temperatures! Be sure to speak with one of our design specialists, and we will be glad to show you how!

A Tree that Creates Life-long Memories

Did you grow up around trees? Remember all those precious memories playing in your yard? Your parents probably let you stay and play outside longer because they had a Chinese Elm tree in the back, providing lots of shade to protect you from the sun. Big specimen trees are begging for someone to climb and explore their limbs. Do you remember your first crush? This is the type of tree that your kids may want to engrave the initials of their first crush. Keep the memories going, from generation to generation!

Let’s talk about the bark of this tree. Besides its beautiful green leaves, the mottled bark is something that gets plenty of notice, too. When the distinctive bark sheds, it resembles camouflage-like patterns that attract both young and old alike.


How to Care for Chinese Elm

American Elm trees were once highly prized shade trees. Then they fell on hard times. Dutch Elm disease devastated many American Elm trees – millions in North America. Chinese Elms were introduced as a response to this devastation and with fantastic results. These disease-resistant varieties are helping to make a comeback of these classic trees. Since being introduced, Ulmus parvifolia elms have thrived in the United States, making homeowners, landscapers, and commercial property owners happy along the way! After all, shade trees such as a well-developed Chinese Elm can add curb appeal and help attract home buyers and customers. Plus, who doesn’t want to have a beautiful tree that can block out the blazing sunlight in their property during the summer!

Trimming: Even though Chinese Elm has a higher resistance to Dutch Elm disease, it is not immune to it. Always be sure to examine mature trees for signs of diseased or dead branches. If there are diseased or dead plant materials remove them and burn them. Young trees will benefit from selective pruning. Doing this can help the young trees develop correctly and prevent wind damage. Prune young trees early so they can develop good branch structure. Our experts custom-grow them and know how to prune and train this tree.

Watering: Once established, it is a drought-tolerant tree. In the summer, it is good to water any young trees weekly. Deep irrigation is the best way to water, especially during our hot and dry summers. Do not let your tree dry out completely.

Mulch: Add mulch immediately after planting. Mulch can help the soil retain moisture and can help control weeds.

Fertilizer: Ulmus parvifolia is very resistant to pests and diseases. That said, fertilization can help maintain the tree and increase their resistance to injury from disease and insects. Moon Juice is ideal for maximizing the health of your tree.

Where to Plant Chinese Elm

The Chinese Elm is among the best elm trees for making great shade. They prefer to grow in a location with full sun or partial shade exposure. These trees can grow in a wide range of soil conditions and can tolerate cold temperatures once the colder weather arrives. Since they can tolerate urban conditions, they are often planted as street trees in city gardens. This tall and fast-growing tree is an ideal park tree, too! Plant them in your backyard, add a resting bench, and create a park-like setting. Plant one in the front yard to add curb appeal and to cool the hotter parts of your house. These classic trees bring plenty of interest no matter where you have one planted. Speak with a Moon Valley Nurseries professional for placement ideas. Our design specialists will be glad to show you the best places to plant one in your landscape.


Chinese Elm Tree Varieties We Sell

At Moon Valley Nurseries, we always save you money by selling big specimen trees in small boxes. We are proud of custom-growing the best-quality trees with perfect roots so that they will thrive in your landscape. We value-engineer our products so that you get the best price on a tree that you cannot find anywhere else. We love Chinese Elm trees and carry two of the best varieties available, ‘True Green’ and ‘Drake.’ Both varieties are going to provide dense summer shade!

drake-elm-2Drake’s Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia ‘Drake’): This disease-resistant variety features an attractive broad-spreading crown to block the sunlight. Feel free to take in the shiny dark green leaves and the shedding bark no matter how sunny it is outside. Thanks to its ability to block the sunlight, spending time outdoors in the summer can be a much more comfortable experience. This tree is an interesting addition to any landscape. We like to use it as a focal point or as a shade tree for the lawn or patio. It is an excellent choice for all sizes and types of landscapes in Arizona.

Shop Drake's Chinese Elms for sale here!


chinese_elm_650x650-min2Chinese Elm ‘True Green’ (Ulmus parvifolia ‘True Green’): Relax under the umbrella-shaped canopy! These extremely fast-growing trees are ideal for the play area and any size yard. We love its glossy green foliage and of course, the added attraction of the mottled, peeling bark. This tree is an excellent choice for the desert. They require less maintenance and clean-up than many other trees. As impressive as this tree is in the summer, it puts on a show in the fall as the green foliage turns to a bright yellow color.


Shop Drake's Chinese Elms for sale here!



Plant more trees! Classic trees such as the Chinese Elm are good for the environment and can make people feel good, too! Do not let the sun keep you from enjoying your yard. We believe that Ulmus parvifolia is one of the best sustainable landscape trees for making shade. Plant these iconic trees in your yard and enjoy your summer!


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