72a Zelkova
137 South Duke Street, Lancaster PA
David Labeda

This tree, native to Japan, Korea, and China, is probably the oldest Zelkova in Lancaster County. Its trunk circum- ference of 173 inches puts it behind only three other Zelkovas in Pennsyl- vania as reported at pabigtrees.com.

The species is long-lived — 500 years — but the age of this specimen is uncertain. The species was not intro- duced to America until 1862 (156 years ago as of 2018), and yet the real estate listing of the tree pegged it at 200 years, and its trunk circumference leads to a computation of a little over 200 as well. The latter estimates are thus wrong.  Still, it’s safe to say this tree, which lives in the Old Town sec- tion of Lancaster, was planted during the early years of Zelkovas in America.

The last photo shows the tree’s tiny triangular drupes, each of which con- tains one seed.

This amazing species is tolerant of heat, little water, nutrient-poor soil, Japanese beetles and a wide pH range, and it is also highly resistant to Dutch Elm Disease.


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