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Plant Profile  
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Common Name: American Elm

Other Name: White Elm

Species Name: Ulmus americana

Family Name: Ulmaceae, Elm Family

Plant Type: Woody





Plant Facts  
Origin North America
Duration Perennial
Distribution in the U.S. Eastern half of the country and as far west as the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas and eastern Texas
Distribution in Oklahoma Throughout the state
Sun Preference Full Sun
Susceptibility Dutch elm disease, cankers, phloem necrosis, bark beetle, elm borer, yellows, leaf miner, leaf beetle and gypsy moth



ID Characteristics

  • Field Identification Characteristics


    • Massive trunks with arching branches; slender twigs
    • Alternating oval leaves; serrated
    • Bark gray and deeply furrowed in scaly ridges


    • Seed encased in flat, papery hull edged in hairs
    • Flat, papery round fruits
  • Leaf and Stem Characteristics
    • Plant Height: 80-foot diameter, 120-foot height
    • Leaves: Alternate, simple, ovate-oblong, 3-6 inches long, 1-3 inches wide, unequal at base, doubly serrate
    • Growth Form: Tree 
    • Leaf Type: Simple 
    • Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
    • Leaf Blade Edge: Double-serrated
    • Leaf Blade Length: 7-15 centimeters
  • Floral Characteristics
    • Petal Number: 0
    • Flower Color: Green or reddish 
    • Flower Timing: March-April
    • Fruit Type: Samara



Habitat Moist, fertile soils of bottomlands
Soil Type Rich, fertile, well-drained; tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, pH tolerant
USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 3
Successional Stage Late


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