Sawleaf zelkova (Zelkova serrata)

North of Wilson Library Map

Two of these members of the elm family are flourishing near the north door to Wilson Library. They may have been part of the original planting following construction of the library in 1928. Sawleaf zelkova is native to Japan and Korea, but has long been resident in North America. Its chief attraction from a visual standpoint is its pleasantly colored peeling bark, and its upright, vase-like form. From a horticultural standpoint it is also important that the sawleaf zelkova, while sharing many of the attractive attributes of our native elms, is relatively immune to Dutch elm disease.

Zelkova serrata can attain quite respectable dimensions; one in Japan is over 160 ft. high and about 10 ft. in diameter. The largest in Washington, located in Enumclaw, is about one-third that large. Ours (in 2006) have also attained considerable size, at roughly 75 ft. tall and 1.7 ft. in diameter.