Village green Japanese Zelkova (Zelkova serrata 'Village Green')
Japanese Zelkova is large vase-shaped tree with a dense canopy and attractive brown, exfoliating bark. 'Village Green' is a more vigorous selection of this species with a straight trunk and dark green leaves that turn red in fall. It is a medium to large deciduous tree, typically growing to 50–80 feet tall with a spreading, generally upward-branching, vase-shaped crown. It is noted for its graceful shape, clean foliage, attractive bark and resistance to Dutch elm disease. Zelkova has in fact been promoted in recent years as a substitute for American elm (Ulmus americana) because of its resistance to Dutch elm disease. Insignificant small green flowers appear in spring as the foliage emerges. Flowers give way to small, non-showy, ovate, wingless drupes that ripen in autumn. Oblong-elliptic dark green leaves (to 3 inches long) with coarse, ciliate marginal teeth and acuminate tips. Fall color is a consistent rusty red. Smooth gray bark in youth exfoliates with age to reveal orange-brown inner bark. Japanese Zelkova is a tough, pest- and disease-resistant tree suitable for planting along streets, in parks, or in residential areas.