May 1, 2005
Japanese Zelkova
Fourteen were planted at Borough Hall in Metuchen, NJ. Let's watch them grow!


Japanese Zelkova
Borough Hall Journal
Borough Hall Growth
Detailed Facts
Zelkova Neighbors
Julie's Trees

Facts at a Glance
Zelkova serrata

Planted July 2004
14 trees planted
Planting height: 15'
Planting trunk: 2"

2008 Update 
1 tree died
Replacement planted
in 2009

2010 Update
(avg 13 original trees)
6-yr height: 19' 
6-yr trunk: 15" 

Mature Height: 55 to 80'
Spread: 50 to 75'
Growth rate: Moderate
Form: Vase
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Fall color: Yellow to red
Hardiness zone: 5 - 8
Culture: Sun

Best feature: 
Good for street planting

Worst problem:
Branches need structural pruning

Do over? Yes

Zelkova in the Street Light

Guarded Progress at Metuchen Borough Hall

'Fred' Can't Scare Me!


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A Tree Grower's Diary
Japanese Zelkova


Photographs and text by Julie Walton Shaver


July 2004



May 2006


August 2010



Borough Hall landscape map featuring 14 Japanese zelkova serrata trees.
Click to see it larger.
Note that circle size = relative spread of trees as of summer 2010.
Drawing is based on a satellite image from Google Maps. 



July 2004


May 2005


November 2005: Some of the trees
are planted in sidewalk cuts; some are
in planting beds, some are in
the natural earth.


The ones in the sidewalk cuts changed
color and lost their leaves about a week
earlier than the ones in the large
planting beds.

FALL: I theorize that the pavement trees recognize the need to conserve energy, considering the limited space they've been given. It will be interesting to follow the entire group of trees over the years to see if the pavement trees grow more slowly, or develop health and shape issues, or die sooner than the ones in the large planting beds.


April 9, 2006: A sidewalk tree.


Same day, same minute: A planting bed tree.

SPRING: Notice how the sidewalk tree's buds are smaller than the planting bed tree's.


See Julie's Borough Hall Zelkova Journal
For Julie's detailed comments about Japanese Zelkova Serrata trees, see the zelkova fact page
Read the latest Tree Grower's Diary blog entry

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