It is a medium-sized to large deciduous tree growing to 20–35 m (66–115 ft) tall, with a trunk of up to 2 m (6 ft 7 in) in diameter. The crown is a highly distinctive vase-shape, with a short broad trunk dividing low down into numerous nearly erect branches. The leaves are alternate, 4–10 cm (1.6–3.9 in) long and 2.5–6 cm (1–2 3⁄8 in) broad, the margin bluntly serrated with 7–12 teeth on each side. The flowers are inconspicuous and greenish, with no petals, and are wind-pollinated. The fruit is a small nutlet 5–6 mm (3⁄16–1⁄4 in) in diameter.
It is grown as an ornamental tree in Europe (huge exemplars of it can be found quite often in western part of Georgia called Imereti, used for decorating courtyards in villages and making a pleasant shadow) and more rarely in North America (where the related Japanese Z. serrata is more popular).
- Hybrid cultivars
- B and T World Seeds, Paguignan, 34210 Aigues-Vives, France 
- Lawyer Nursery, Montana Highway, 6625 West Plains, MT., USA 
- Sandeman Seeds, 7 Route de Burosse, 64350 Lalongue, France 
- Sheffield's Seeds Co. Inc. , New York, USA.
- Andrews, S. (1994). Tree of the year: Zelkova. Int. Dendrol. Soc. Yearbook 1993: 11-30.
- Hunt, D. (1994). Beware of the Zelkova. Int. Dendrol. Soc. Yearbook 1993: 33-41.
- Rushforth, K. (1999). Trees of Britain and Europe. HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-220013-9.
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