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Tree Species of the World's Boreal Forests

Herbs, Shrubs and Other Plants

GLOSSARIES
Terminology | Pictorial

   
Ulmus americana
American Elm
Ulmaceae (Elm Family)

A large, graceful tree with enlarged buttresses at base, usually forked into many spreading branches, drooping at ends, forming a very broad, rounded, flat-topped or vaselike crown, growing to a height of 30 m and a diameter of 1.2 m; often much larger.

Description

American Elm Distinguishing Features - Leaves: in 2 rows; 7.5 - 15 cm long, elliptical, abruptly long-pointed, base rounded with sides unequal; doubly saw-toothed; with many straight parallel side veins; thin; dark green and usually hairless or slightly rough above, paler and usually with soft hairs beneath; turning bright yellow in autumn. Bark: light gray; deeply furrowed into broad, forking, scaly ridges. Twigs: brownish, slender, hairless. Flowers: 3 mm) wide; greenish; clustered along twigs in early spring. Fruit: 10 - 12 mm long; elliptical flat 1-seeded samaras, with wing hairy on edges, deeply notched with points curved inward; long-stalked; maturing in early spring.

Habitat

Saskatchewan east to Cape Breton Island, south to central Florida, and west to central Texas; prefers moist soil conditions, especially valleys and flood plains; in mixed hardwood forests.

Notes

The American Elm is used for containers, furniture, and paneling. The species has been ravaged by the Dutch Elm disease, caused by a fungus spread by European and native elm bark beetles.

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