There are currently no active references in this article.
Tree to 20 m, 0.5 m dbh. Bark pale grey to blackish brown with a thick corky layer, longitudinally fissured. Branchlets thick, initially white to reddish brown, not winged, later dark brown to grey with yellowish lenticels. Leaves deciduous, 8–15 × 3.5–6.5 cm, oblong to elliptic or obovate, upper surface smooth or scabrous, densely hirsute when young, later largely glabrous except for hairs on the secondary veins, lower surface densely pubescent with prominent tufts in the vein axils, 16–35 secondary veins on each side of the midrib, margins double-serrate, apex long-acute to cuspidate; petiole 0.1–1.2 cm long, densely pubescent. Inflorescences produced on second-year branches; fascicled cymes. Perianth four- to five-lobed, margins ciliate or glabrous. Samaras tan, oblong to obovate, 1.6–3 × 1–1.6 cm, glabrous, perianth persistent; seed positioned towards the apex. Flowering and fruiting February to April (China). Fu & Xin 2000, Fu et al. 2003. Distribution CHINA: Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang. Habitat Broadleaved forests between 500 and 1600 m asl. USDA Hardiness Zone 4–5. Conservation status Not evaluated. Illustration Fu & Xin 2000, Fu et al. 2003; NT883.
The leaves of Ulmus castaneifolia do indeed resemble those of a chestnut (Castanea), and with their numerous veins have quite a distinct look. Details of its introduction are unknown, but there is a specimen at Kew, of 11 m in 2001 (Johnson 2003). It is in cultivation elsewhere in the United Kingdom as well, including several individuals in Calderstones Park, Liverpool, one of which is the British champion, measured by Owen Johnson at 13 m (45 cm dbh) in 2004 (TROBI), when Johnson noted that all were in excellent health and growing well while other elms nearby had been reduced to sucker growth. Its resistance to DED has been confirmed by Smalley & Guries (2000), but it can be badly damaged by Elm Leaf Beetle (Miller 2000). It was among the species obtained by the Morton Arboretum from China in 1995, and now has a limited presence in North American cultivation, even being commercially available. A 6 m specimen at the Chicago Botanic Garden was developing heavily ridged bark when seen in 2006, and had strong spreading branches from low down on its trunk.