Japanese zelkova can be recognized from its vase shape: a short main trunk dividing into ascending branches. In old trees, identification is helped by the colourful patchy bark when old grey pieces exfoliate to reveal fresh orange patches. Japanese zelkova belongs to the elm family (Ulmaceae), but is not troubled by elm disease. It is increasingly used as a street and shade tree in both the East and the West.
Finland’s cool short summers don’t meet Japanese zelkova’s demands. If grown here, it requires the warmest possible site and a suitable provenance, which could well be found in Korea. When it grows well, the species has a shady umbrella-shaped crown.