Georgia Gardener Newsletter Cool Plant: January 22, 2009

Weeping Winged Elm
Ulmus alata 'Lace Parasol'

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Species Native Range: Southeastern U.S.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 5-9
Mature Size: 6-8 feet tall and wide
Exposure: Full sun to light shade
Soil: Average, well-drained
Drought Tolerance: Excellent
Ease of Culture: Easy

The first term that comes to my mind when describing this tree is "cute." Perhaps it's because I'm not very tall that I find myself drawn to dwarf trees where I can see the entire plant without the use of a ladder. Maybe I should take up bonsai, but that's a discussion for another day.

The Lace Parasol winged elm is an oustanding dwarf/weeping tree that at full maturity well not be much taller than the average man yet possesses a truly unique character making it a wonderful year round garden focal point. During the winter months, the "winged" bark on the trunk and limbs gives the tree great texture. Said to be a favorite of the late J.C. Raulston (J.C. Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh, NC), he was instrumental with its introduction.

Winged Elm Branches Winged Elm Trunk

Plant LP winged elm in full sun to light shade in well-drained, organic soil. The plant should be sited where it stands alone or mixed with a groundcover to accentuate it as a focal point. To increase its exposure, plant it atop a small berm or in a large container.


The LP winged elm is truly a "connaisseur" plant, so it's not widely available at most retail nurseries. You may have some success at specialty nurseries or through mail order.

Buck Jones Nursery: Grayson & Woodstock
Bannister Creek Nursery: Duluth
Meadow Brook Nursery: mail order

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