Be a Georgia Tree Know-It-All: Lacebark Elm

Get to know Georgia’s beautiful array of trees and how you can take care of your own! We feature some of the most popular trees in the state, with past features including the Possumhaw, Yellow Buckeye, and Southern Magnolia.

We’re showcasing a versatile tree with roots that can be traced back to 18th Century China — the lacebark elm!


While the lacebark is now a popular landscape feature in many parts of the U.S., it wasn’t always found on our shores. In 1794, the tree was introduced from China, which is how it got its nickname, the “Chinese elm.”

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, this elm variety is considered both a shade and ornamental tree. It can reach heights of 40 to 50 feet at maturity, and its crown may spread 35 to 45 feet.

The tree’s shiny green leaves produce a display of autumn splendor when they turn to shades of yellow and purple in the fall. Its bark is also known for its unique appearance, boasting an alluring mottled pattern with tones of gray, green, brown, and orange when it exfoliates in the winter.

Growing Conditions

Lacebark elms thrive in full sun, growing best in areas with at least six hours of direct light. Though they can survive in partial shade without harm, their leaves are most vibrant with full sun exposure.

The tree can withstand a variety of soil conditions, including dry, moist, and alkaline soil. Though not well suited for heavily saturated soil, it can be adaptable in terms of soil acidity. The lacebark elm can also withstand a certain degree of drought.

The Southern Group of State Foresters notes that lacebark elms can grow in hardiness zones 5B through 10A (Atlanta and North Georgia are in zone 7), and is evergreen at the southernmost areas of its growth range.

Tree Care

Lacebark elms require little maintenance. Structural pruning to prevent weather-related breakage can keep the tree healthy in most climates. While the tree has low wind resistance, pruning young trees can help develop good branch structure to prevent weather-related damage.

Fortunately, these lovely trees also have a high resistance to Dutch elm disease, a deadly fungal disease carried by airborne bark beetles, as well as strong resistance to elm leaf beetles. With its hardy characteristics, Organic Gardening & Living talk show host Howard Garrett asserts the lacebark elm is “extremely easy to grow.”

Signs of Distress

Although they’re resistant to most conditions that may befall other elm species, some lacebark elms are susceptible to elm yellows. Named after the symptom it produces – a rapid yellowing of the leaves – this phytoplasma is spread by leafhoppers and spittlebugs. The notable discoloration may start with just one branch, but eventually it will move to the entire tree and turn the trunk tissue dark brown. Unfortunately, the only way to manage a lacebark elm that’s become infected is to remove it.

Another issue this elm faces is cotton root rot. Characterized by leaves that wilt in the spring or summer, this soil-borne fungus often affects the uppermost leaves first. Unfortunately once these signs are showing, typically the root system has already begun to decay. While a fully infected lacebark elm must be removed, heavy pruning could help to save a tree in the earliest stages of cotton root rot.

Whether you’re experiencing issues with a lacebark elm (or another tree on your property) — or simply need help with routine pruning, turn to Premier Tree Solutions. Contact us online or by calling (404) 252-6448.

Trick or Tree-ats: Fun Ways to Decorate Your Yard for Halloween

Halloween decorations have come a long way in recent years, prompting many homeowners to transform their properties to celebrate the autumn holiday. More than half of U.S. consumers partake in the festivities, each spending nearly $100 on decorations, candy, and other essentials annually. 

If you’re planning to decorate your yard this year, here are a few ideas to consider.

Creatively Creepy

For some, Halloween is all about thrills and chills. Give your yard a spooky edge with these creepy decorations.

The Modern Graveyard

Headstones are a staple for the haunted house look. Take it up a notch by adding hands and feet emerging from the ground. While you can find pre-made limbs at most party or home improvement stores, you could also construct your own out of pool noodles.

The Resident Skeleton

Skeletons propped on porches or seated on benches are classic. For a fun twist, prop it up so it’s riding a bicycle, filling the bird bath, or planting in the garden.

Giant Spiders

Spray paint foam balls and attach tubing to create a giant spider. Place it in your shrubs, along with decorative spiderwebs (placed loosely over branches). Just be sure to bring your eight-legged friend inside on windy days.


Kid-Friendly Fun

Whether you have kids of your own, or just want to let the smallest trick-or-treaters know they’re welcome, here’s how to get the littlest Halloween lovers excited.

Spooky Eyes

Turn your small trees or plants into friendly ghouls with large googly eyes. Paint black dots on white paper plates, and gently affix them to branches using twine. To keep your foliage safe, make sure your knots aren’t too tight and don’t cause any branches to bend awkwardly.

Pirate’s Map

Lead tykes to treasure by creating black “footprints” on your walkway using washable chalk. Cut an “X” to mark the spot from an inexpensive black doormat, and on Halloween night, fill a child-size treasure chest with the booty. (You may even don your own pirate costume to join in the fun!) 

Friendly Ghosts & Bats

Whether you purchase ahead, or your child makes them on their own, ghosts and bats are always a fun sight on Halloween night. Use fishing line or twine to hang them from branches, but be sure to only suspend lightweight decorations to avoid damaging your trees’ branches or bark.

Country Classic

If you prefer more of a farmhouse feel without the creepy factor, here are some ideas for you.


Bring the friendliness (and brilliance) of Oz’s Scarecrow to your home by creating one from hay found at a landscape or hardware store, some old clothes and pillows, and a hand-drawn face on a flour sack or pillowcase. Involve your neighbors in the creativity, and you might find yourself with a whole cornfield’s worth! 

Landscape Lanterns

Light the way for little witches and goblins by placing lanterns on your walkway. Fill the bottom of a small paper bag with sand, tie festive ribbons to the tops, decorate them with stickers or drawings, and use battery-powered “candles” with orange flames inside to illuminate October nights — not just Halloween! 

Plentiful Pumpkins

For a rustic touch, you can’t go wrong with pumpkins and other decorative gourds. Consider stacking them in different sizes and colors near your front door, or create a pumpkin waterfall cascading down your steps.

Whether or not you choose to decorate, Premier Tree Solutions can treat your lawn with professional tree care, pruning and removal year-round. To schedule a service, contact us online or call (404) 252-6448.