Zelkova abelicea (Lam.) Boiss. (Ulmaceae) is a threatened, endemic tree of the Mediterranean island of Crete. It is one of the 6 species of the genus Zelkova which represents one of the most emblematic relict tree genera of the Tertiary. Although all main Cretan mountain massifs (Lefka Ori, Idi, Dikti and Thripiti) host populations of Z. abelicea, the distribution of the species is extremely fragmented. It is threatened by overgrazing and browsing by goats and sheep, soil erosion, drought, fire and the cutting of young branches for making "Katsounes", the traditional Cretan walking sticks.