The Japanese zelkova (Zelkova serrata) [plant family Ulmaceae] is a small to medium sized tree (about 50 ft) with branches extending straight upward in a sharp angle from a rather short trunk. The leaves are deciduous, oblong-ovate with sharp-toothed (serrated) edges. Bark is pale gray with horizontal lenticels, becoming mottled orange on older trunks. It is a common city tree but suffers from snow-induced branch breakage. Male and female flowers, small and green, appear on young shoots; they produce fleshy kidney bean-shaped fruit about ¼-inch in diameter. This tree is native to Japan, Taiwan and eastern China. The tree was introduced to the West by von Siebold in 1830. Resembling its relatives, the elms, it is resistant to Dutch elm disease and been promoted in recent years as a substitute for the American elm (Ulmus americana). In Japan, the wood is used for furniture, lacquerware and trays.