Q: I have two eight-year-old ‘Drake’ elms. Their bark is splitting and peeling on the main trunk. Is it normal for these trees to shed bark like sycamore and crapemyrtle?
A: It’s normal. ‘Drake’ elm is a nice Chinese elm, Ulmus parvifolia. It is similar to ‘Allee’ and ‘Athena’, which were selected in Athens and have been available for several years. A common name for these trees is lacebark elm, due to the peeling bark each fall. All of these elms have an upright, graceful form and are resistant to Dutch elm disease.
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