I want to plant some zelkovas in my garden(20 zelkovas along a wall, so there is only one column). I want to know what's the proper distance? Zelkovas(Zelkova Carpinifolia) are native in the region where I live and there are huge zelkovas. I have planted some of them with 2 meter distance; is it enough or should I increase it?

I live in the southern coast of the Caspian Sea, it's a temperate rainforest and it receives about 1200mm of rainfall/year.

  • 1
    what area of the world do you live in? this makes a huge difference
    – kevinskio
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 15:06
  • @kevinsky I included it in the question.
    – user26316
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 15:22

1 Answer 1


Spacing plants can be quite challenging as it depends on climate, soil and intent. If you want a privacy barrier then a closer spacing is required. Zelkova carpinifolia or the Caucasian elm can get over 12 meters tall and wide in 50 years or more.

So, the question is then how wide will your trees get where you live and how fast?

The RHS is rather coy about the mature width indicating "over 8 meters". A related tree Zelkova serrata will grow .6 to one meter a year in California. This article quotes some pretty fast growth rates:

  • 5 feet; 9 years
  • 37 feet; 20 years
  • 66 feet; 250 years

Trees slow down their growth rate with age. They will be easier to manage if they don't grow into each other. Given the tendency of this species to have competing leaders which makes it grow wider if your soil and water are good then you should plant them farther apart so they just start to touch after twenty years or so. That might be a spacing of ten to twelve meters.

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