Northern Empress® Japanese Elm - Ulmus davidiana var. japonica ‘Burgundy Glow’ (RFM-74)


fall leaves closeupA very hardy small to medium sized growing elm with a rounded crown, open branching, and attractive summer and fall foliage. Fall foliage changes from green to apricot-orange to burgundy-red before leaf drop. Size and form permit use in smaller homeowner and business landscapes, parks, and boulevard plantings.


USDA hardiness zone 3-6

Mature Size:

Height: 28', Spread: 24'

Form (Shape):

Rounded open crown

Growth Rate:



Deciduous, leaves are smaller in size than American elm. Summer: Medium green. Autumn: Advancing fall color changing from an apricot-orange to burgundy-red before leaf drop.




Non showy, perfect, appearing before foliage emergence in early spring.


Winged samara brown in color when ripe.

Light Preferences:

Full sun

Soil Preferences:

Well drained soils, pH adaptable and tolerant of higher pH soils. Northern Empress® has shown moderate to good drought tolerance.


Grafting, tissue culture or softwood cuttings.

Insects and Diseases:

Minimally affected by black leaf spot of elm. Inherent resistance to elm leaf beetles and Dutch Elm Disease (DED).

Ornamental Attributes:

Northern Empress® Japanese Elm is a unique, small statured elm selection hardy into UDSA climatic zone 3 with excellent dependable burgundy red fall coloration, unusual among hardy elm cultivars.

Landscape Attributes:

Recommended for use as a small to medium sized ornamental tree in urban landscape planting areas. This is especially relevant where available space or overhead power lines are a concern and where hardiness of other elm cultivars may be an issue.


Northern Empress® Japanese Elm adds a useful elm cultivar to diversify the availability of elm selections returning to the landscape.

Patent Status:

U.S. Trademark registered Northern Empress®

Licensing Status:

This cultivar is available for non-exclusive licensing.


Download the PDF Datasheet (PDF, 1.69 MB)

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