WSU Clark County Extension

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American elm

Scientific name: Ulmus americana

Type:Deciduous tree
Plant Requirements
Zone:2 to 9
Sun:Full sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:75 ft
Width:50 ft
Bloom:Spring flowers
Bloom Time:April
Bloom Color:Yellow
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Long associated with large public spaces, the American Elm does grow in the Pacific Northwest

This large deciduous tree can grow to 75’ or more in height and 50’ in width. In the open, the trunk is usually divided into several large, ascending and arching limbs. At the ends of the limbs the branches adopt a drooping habit.

Leaves are arranged in an alternate fashion. They are simple, ovate to oblong, 3 to 5 inches long and 1 to 3 inches wide. Their leaf margins are coarsely and sharply doubly serrated. The base of the leaf has unequal shoulders. The leaves are green during the summer, and then turn to light yellow in the fall before they are shed.

Flowers are monoecious (separate male and female). The female flowers are small, and appear in drooping clusters of 3 to 5. The flowers are seen from the branches in the spring before the leaves open.

American Elm is widely adapted to most soil types. It does however prefer rich, bottomland soils.

Dutch Elm disease is the most common problem. The nursery industry now sells hybrid species that are resistant.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
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