S & J Nursery’s Guide to
Drake Elm Tree
in the Northeast Florida Landscape
( Ulmus Parviflora ‘
Drake Elm Origins:
– not native to the United States or North America
Drake Elm’s Preferred Exposure:
– full sun locations
Drake Elm Foliage | Bark:
– Semi-deciduous foliage of the Drake Elm is a deep green color, and depending on
the winter temperatures and planting location may remain evergreen, mostly evergreen or may have an almost total
leaf yellowing and dropping. Here in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine landscape Drake Elms most
often remain at least halfway foliated through the winter season.
– leaves of the Drake Elm may turn a nice yellow to a reddish orange color in the
fall but are rarely showy due to the lack of total leaf change in a semi-decidous habit.
– Drake Elms are often selected on the basis of bark alone. Those of us who like
added texture and colors to the trunks of out landscape trees quickly fall in love with the deep dark blood
purple color of the drake elms bark that often sheds in patches adding even more interest to an already perfect
Drake Elm Soil Preference / Salt tolerance:
– widely adaptable to a range of soil PH, clay /sand content and moisture levels
from dry to the occasionally drenched soils.
– only moderately salt tolerant, suitable for a block or so away from a direct salt
air breeze from the ocean.
Drake Elm Size Variance:
– can reach sizes of 35 -45+ feet H | 30-40+ feet W depending on pruning done
Drake Elm Growth Habit:
– can vary greatly depending on pruning done but generally spreading, long arching
branches that eventually form an almost weeping habit. These trees seem to be nearly as wide as they are tall as
Drake Elm Growth Rate:
– extremely fast growth rate with a non invasive root system, a combination you just
Drake Elm Bloom:
– small green blooms are inconspicuous, followed by tan seed pods that will turn a
chocolate brown before falling off.
Drake Elm Water Requirements:
– drought tolerant once established in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St.
Butterfly or Bird Attracting:
Best Uses For Drake Elm Trees:
– Drake Elms are an excellent selection when looking for a large scale shade tree
that establishes itself quickly into something that will actually give you some shade! It’s wide arching growth
habit makes it an excellent choice for larger lawns and its non pesky root system makes planting near driveways
and home foundations care free.
– Good disease and pest resistance, non invasive and no problematic root
Care of Drake Elms:
– water every day during the establishment period. See watering your newly planted
trees for more information.
– prune lower branchlets when planted near driveways and walkways
– Drake elms are resistant to Dutch elm disease and have good resistance to elm leaf
beetle and Japanese beetles.
– provide a 1 ft diameter circle of mulched area where grass is kept from growing
for each inch of caliper (or diameter) of trunk measured 4 inches from the ground level.
– fertilize each spring with a mixture of Milorganite and a slow release poly coated
plant food such as Osmocote or Stay Green general purpose plant food, sprinkling the fertilizer around the mulch
circle underneath the foliage of the tree.