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Prospector elm

The Prospector elm is a hybrid of Asian elm species; it is smaller than the American elm and exhibits excellent resistance to Dutch elm disease (DED) and elm leaf beetle. This fast-growing tree needs regular pruning to maintain its vase form. Its leaves emerge orange red and mature to green; in the fall, it erupts in a brilliant yellow. Useful as street, parkway, or shade tree.

Botanical name:

Ulmus davidiana var. japonica 'Prospector'

All Common Names:

Prospector elm, Prospector Wilson's elm

Family (English):

Elm

Family (Botanic):

Ulmaceae

Planting Site:

  • Residential and parks,
  • City parkway,
  • Wide median,
  • Restricted sites

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Tree

Foliage:

  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Parkway/street,
  • Shade tree,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

Mature Height:

40-50 feet

Mature Width:

20-25 feet

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8,
  • Zone 9,
  • Zone 10

Soil Preference:

  • Moist, well-drained soil

Tolerances:

  • Dry sites,
  • Occasional drought,
  • Wet sites,
  • Occasional flooding,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Clay soil

Acid Soils:

  • Tolerant

Alkaline Soils:

  • Moderately Tolerant

Salt Spray:

  • Intolerant

Soil Salt:

  • Intolerant

Drought Conditions:

  • Moderately Tolerant

Poor Drainage:

  • Moderately Tolerant

Ornamental Interest:

  • Fall color

Season of Interest:

  • Early fall,
  • Mid fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Inconspicuous

Shape or Form:

  • Vase-shaped

Growth Rate:

  • Fast

Transplants Well:

  • Yes

Wildlife:

  • Migrant birds

More Information:

Tree & Plant Care

Prefers a moist, well-drained soil.
Do not prune elm trees between mid-April and mid-October.

Disease, pests, and problems

European elm flea weevil is a minor problem.
Wetwood can occur.

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Excellent resistant to Dutch elm disease, elm yellows and elm leaf beetle.

Native geographic location and habitat

Of hybrid origin.

Bark color and texture 

Bark is gray, ridged and furrowed.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Alternate leaves with toothed edges; shiny dark green in summer.
Fall color is yellow.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Flowers are green and inconspicuous, appearing in early spring.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Seeds enclosed in a flat, circular wing.

 

 

Location of Ulmus davidiana var. japonica 'Prospector' (Prospector elm) at the Arboretum