Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chinese Elm

Three more posts to go on the trees that are commonly seen around Tucson.  This next tree is called the Chinese Elm and it makes a lovely addition to the garden.  It's deciduous and adds lovely fall color in Tucson. I would call this tree a moderate to fast grower with a nice reddish orange bark.  It has smaller leaves and the tree can get up to 30- 35 feet here.  I haven't seen any trees taller than this size around town. The largest one is at an apartment complex on the corner Prince and is a monster and is currently growing its leaves back after winter. It gets regular watering once established at a frequency of one time per week.  It does well with our cold and hot sunny weather.  This tree should be fertilized after the first year in spring before it begins to leaf out.   I made a very sad mistake over a year ago.  There was a dripline that I never moved away from the trunk and because of it, I killed my very large Chinese Elm tree that I had raised from a treeling. Crushing blow.  The tree suddenly collapsed in the hot month of September. After tests were done on the root system, it was determined that Texas Root Rot was the culprit. Stubborn, as most Germans are, I purchased another Chinese Elm with the knowledge that I wouldn't overwater this tree again.    Today, we have a Chinese Elm that is 3 years old and growing beautifully in a different location of the garden. Two things that I learned from this experience were to A. Move the dripline (more on this topic at 3 today) and also B. Once a plant has died from Texas Root Rot in a certain area of your garden, you cannot plant other trees susceptible to this terrible disease.  I found a Texas Ebony to replace the Chinese Elm in that spot of the property.  The "new" Elm was moved into an area free of Texas Root Rot and today looks wonderful.  This tree is also used as a popular bonsai tree. It does well with 6+ hours of full sun.  The current elm is facing the southern exposure.   One more tree to go and we'll take another break from the plant series. Until our next encounter.....

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