City Sprite Zelkova
Zelkova serrata 'JFS-KW1' (City Sprite)
American HornbeamOK, I can’t help myself, here is another small maturing tree.  It’s probably because we get so many requests for small trees at the nursery.  Most people would likely mistake this tree for an elm.  But somehow, the City Sprite is in the Zelkova family.  Its ultimate height is estimated at less than 25 feet with an 18 foot spread.  


The future will confirm this but the City Sprite could end up in the category of the bullet proof vintage, like the fastigiate hornbeam but with a small vase shape.   There will be high demand for this one.


The City Sprite is a compact, dense almost dwarf landscape or street tree that appears to have brighter and tougher foliage than other typical zelkovas.  This is a good single leader tree with a straight trunk.   Branching is regular and attachment appears to be good, with no inclusions. Leaves are like other zelkovas or elms, so, relatively small, not messy and likely breaks down quickly in the landscape.   


Fall color is yellow but in good cold crisp years may be a golden yellow brown, not outstanding but acceptable. Although not having a large crown, shade will be dense from the shadow.  The winter silhouette will also be formal, dense and attractive.


This tree also appears to be an easy transplanter, likely better that some of the other Zelkovas that sometimes show dieback from planting stress.  It is not a fast grower but certainly not in the ginkgo category.
American Hornbeam Fall Color

In many locations, in relatively small planting spaces in our cities, this will be the ideal tree, not likely to outgrow the space that so many other varieties will eventually do.  Put your order in early for this one because they will go fast.  Let me know if you have had any experience with the City Sprite zelkova.

As always, let me know your experience with this tree.
Jim Barborinas
ISA Certified Arborist #0135
ASCA Registered Consulting Arborist #356                    CLICK HERE FOR MORE TREE PROFILES
Certified Tree Risk Assessor #PNW-0327
15119 McLean Road
Mount Vernon, WA  98273
(O) 360-428-5810
(M) 360-770-9921
(F) 360-428-1822
Urban Forest Nursery, Inc.
Specializing in Street & Landscape Trees
(O)360-428-5810  (M)360-770-9921  (F)360-428-1822