Japanese zelkova, Japanese elm, saw-leaf zelkova, water-elm, keyaki (Japanese Romanji), ju shu (transcribed Chinese)
Description: deciduous tree
Place of origin: temperate Asia
Urban habitat: Tolerant of urban conditions including drought, wind, air pollution, compacted soils but prefers moist well-drained soils in full or partial sun.
Ecological function: Provides shade in heat trapping environments such as parking lots and median strips; habitat for wildlife.
History: Zelkova serrata is considered an ornamental tree noted for its graceful shape, clean foliage, attractive bark and resistance to Dutch elm disease. Zelkova has been promoted in recent years as a substitute for American elm because of its resistance to Dutch elm disease. The tree is often used in Bonsai and is valued as a commercial timber tree in Japan. Its genus name Zelkova may refer to the original Republic of Georgia name (Zelkova carpinifolia is native to the Caucasus).