Emerald Sunshine Elm (Ulmus propinqua 'Emerald Sunshine')

Emerald Sunshine Elm (Ulmus propinqua 'Emerald Sunshine')

This Chinese-native tree is a sturdy, upright-developing elm that can thrive in most environments. The Emerald sunshine elm has a striking presence, with coppery-bronze leaves that turn glossy green as they mature.

Insect-resistant and tolerant of heath and droughts, this elm can reach 35 feet in height and a spread of 25 feet. It has a fast growth rate and accumulates 35 inches or more with every passing year. It can live for over 150 years.

Minimal Maintenance

The Emerald sunshine elm is a popular shade tree in California thanks to its thick canopy and ability to withstand droughts and high temperatures. This tree requires full sun exposure and does not do well in the shade. The Emerald sunshine elm needs at least four hours of direct sunlight on a daily basis.

It prefers moist soil, with a clay, loam, or sandy texture. Seaside tolerance is also rather good, as long as the location chosen for the tree isn’t too close to the shore, where higher levels of salinity may impact its health.

Since it is drought resistant, this elm has minimal water requirements. It only needs a bit of supervision in its first years until the roots develop.

The Emerald sunshine elm is a rather big tree. Although it can be successfully planted in residential areas, it needs quite a bit of space:

  • 15 feet from a building, as the spread is rather wide
  • 6 feet from streets
  • 20 feet from a utility overhead
  • Around 18 feet from other trees

A Sturdy Choice

Elms used to be some of the most popular trees in the Americas, but the Dutch Elm Disease nearly wiped them all out. New species of resistant elms then emerged, like the Emerald Sunshine Elm, which is not only resistant to pests, but also to DED.


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