Zelkova serrata is the botanical name of a species of Zelkova native to Japan, Korea, eastern China, and Taiwan.
Zelkova serrata is a medium sized deciduous tree usually growing to 30 meters (100 ft) tall. This tree is characterized by a short trunk dividing into many upright and erect spreading stems forming a broad, round topped head. The tree grows rapidly when young though the growth rate slows to medium upon middle age and maturity.
In summer, this tree has alternately arranged deciduous leaves. The leaves themselves are simple and ovate to oblong-ovate with serrated or crenate margins. The leaves are acuminate or apiculate, rounded or subcordate at the base and contain about 8-14 pairs of veins. The leaves are rough on top and glabrous or nearly glabrous on the underside. They are green to dark green in spring and throughout the summer, though they change color in the fall to a various assortment of yellows, oranges and reds. Leaves are 3-5 cm (1-2 in) long and 2-5 cm (0.8-2 inches) wide, on shoots that are approximately 12-13 cm (5 in) long. Petioles are 2-5 mm long.
Zelkova serrata develops monoecious flowers in spring with the leaves. Zelkova serrata has these identification features: a short main trunk, low branching and a vase shaped habit. Its twigs are slender with small, dark conical buds in a zigzag pattern. The branches are usually glabrous. The bark is grayish white to grayish brown and either smooth with lenticels or exfoliating in patches to reveal orange inner bark. Branchlets are brownish purple to brown.