Ulmus x wilsoniana ‘Prospector’ – Prospector Elm
Botanical Name: Ulmus x wilsoniana ‘Prospector’
Alternate Name: Ulmus davidiana var. japonica ‘Prospector’
The Prospector Elm (Ulmus x wilsoniana ‘Prospector) is a fast growing, medium to large sized deciduous tree with a slender, vase-shaped growth habit and drooping lower branches. It is a hardy and adaptable tree, tolerating extremes of temperature as well as occasionally flooded soil. This tree is a smaller and narrower tree than the American Elm (Ulmus americana) and originates from a cross between two Asian elms. This tree grows to a height of 40-50 feet with a spread of 25-30 feet wide.
The leaves of the Prospector Elm emerge in the spring with shades of orange and red and mature to a glossy, deep green as the growing season progresses. They are obovate (tear-drop shaped and wider towards the tip than the base). The foliage measures up to 4-4.5 inches long and 3 inches wide, with serrated margins and an asymmetrical leaf base. The fall foliage display is a brilliant yellow.
The blooms are small, green, and inconspicuous. They develop in March or April before the leaves emerge. The fruits are delicate oval, papery samaras containing single-seeds. These mature in April or May as the leaves are developing. The bark is light gray in color.
Prospector Elm needs regular trimming of the weeping lower branches to maintain the vase-shaped form. It provides a habitat for migratory birds. It has good resistance to Dutch Elm disease and elm leaf beetle.