Musashino Zelkova

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Tall, Regal, and Striking Musashino Zelkova

  • Unique Upward Branching
  • Cheerful Green Foliage
  • Incredibly Tolerant of Urban Settings
  • 2016 Urban Tree of the Year
  • Vase-Like Columnar Shape
  • Perfect for Tight Spaces
  • Yellow-Orange Fall Color
  • Full Sun
  • Can be Used as Privacy Screen
  • Excellent Street Tree

Finding the perfect tree for all settings can be a struggle. Some trees are just a little too sensitive to particular urban areas and there are others that would simply outgrow any given space in a matter of years. Neither is the case with Musashino Zelkova (Zelkova serrata 'Musashino').

This spectacular tree was named the 2016 Society of Municipal Arborists Urban Tree of the Year. One look and you'll see why!

Native to Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, Musashino Zelkova's signature style is enough to put in on some of the finest runways in Paris, but your landscape is exactly where it wants to be! Its claim to fame being densely growing upward reaching branches.

Take a step back and you'll be able to fully enjoy and appreciate the overall columnar-like shape this variety grows in. The medium green foliage packs itself in nicely and can make a lovely high screen if planted in a row.

It's hard to believe Musashino was introduced to the United States less than 20 years ago. It's made quite a scene here ever since!

Many who are familiar with the variety say that Musashino leafs out just a bit earlier in the spring than other Zelkova varieties. No need to wait in eager anticipation when the first signs of spring are in the air!

Musashino will deliver fall color just as reliably as summer fades, as well. As fall finds its way to your region, this variety will often turn a pretty yellow fading into rusty red-orange.

As if all that wasn't enough to have you singing praises, this Zelkova is extremely tolerant to salt spray used on roads during the winter months. Much more tolerant than other zelkova varieties!

The perfect tree for your urban planting needs doesn't have to be hard to find. Add a Musashino Zelkova to your landscape today!

How to Use Musashino Zelkova in the Landscape

A tree fit for a thousand landscapes, Musashino can be planted just about anywhere and not only thrive but look absolutely exceptional!

This tree's narrow upright growing habit makes it perfect for shade in a limited footprint. It's a great choice for a compact city garden!

You can also use this tree in your front yard to line your driveway or the street. It'll turn any roadway into a runway lined with exquisite green columns!

Street tree planting is a popular way to use Musashino. Or, perhaps you have an unsightly view that you'd like to hide. Plant a screen of this Zelkova to manage that landscape challenge.

This tree is also perfect for gardeners wanting to add a tree but want to maintain sunshine for pretty perennials underneath. Musashino won't hog the rays with its vase-shaped growing habit!

Use the fantastic foliage as a contrast planted near a sunny brick wall. The combo plus its attractive trunk will make a great spot for photos all season long.

#ProPlantTips for Care

The most important thing to remember when thinking about how to best care for your Musashino is that it likes a lot of sunlight.

Full sun is its favorite so pick out a spot where it can bask in the rays all day long. You'll also want to pay attention to the soil quality.

Musashino Zelkova likes nice evenly moist soil without it being soggy. You can ensure it doesn't sit in water by planting in well drained soil.

The low maintenance aspects don't end there though. This tree couldn't care less about salt sprays used on roads in the winter and takes well to occasional trims in the early spring.

If you'd like to give the tree a little extra boost, add a layer of mulch starting six inches from the base of the plant. Mulch helps protect the roots while the plant is establishing and helps conserve water.

Planting this award-winning Zelkova is a choice you won't soon regret. Order a Musashino Zelkova to fulfill your landscaping desires from our expert growers at Nature Hills Nursery!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
4 Now
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Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Musashino Zelkova Is Suited to Grow in Zones 5-9
Growing Zones 5-9
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Zelkova serrata 'Musashino'
Type Deciduous
Mature Height 40 - 45 feet
Mature Spread 12 - 15 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Well Drained
Moisture Medium
Growth Rate Medium
Foliage Color Green
Fall Color Yellow, Orange
Pollinator Friendly No
Pruning Time Early Spring