American Elm Trees

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American Elm Trees are sometimes referred to as Water Elms or White Elms. This species of tree is native to North America, and can be found from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, along with central Texas and Florida. It is one of the toughest species of tree as it can survive in winter with temperatures as low as below forty four degrees. Along with this, if it manages to escape contracting Dutch Elm disease, it can live for hundreds of years.


American Elm Trees have a crown that leads into a very high, spread out canopy with lots of open air space underneath. These trees are hermaphroditic and so can self pollinate. They have small, brown-purple flowers that are wind pollinated, and they turn up before the leaves do in early spring. The fruits produced are flat and have circular wings around the lone seed so that it can be wind propagated.


For many years now American Elms have been used as a street tree and as a shade tree, mainly due to the beautiful arching growth form it has and how tolerant it is to stress factors. It has cross grained wood, which makes it very strong so that the branches rarely ever break. The species have been planted quite far from its natural range and still survived harsh conditions such as the desert heat of Phoenix, Arizona.


Unfortunately, this tree is highly susceptible to DED, or Dutch elm disease, as well as Elm Yellows and Elm Leaf Black Spot. It has quite a few pests, including the elm leaf beetle, elm bark beetle and elm leaf miner. It�s quite easy to make sure none of these afflictions get to an elm tree, and so they can live for hundreds of years.

Care Tips

These trees need lots of care so that they stay healthy. Some form of care should be applied regularly while others are needed less frequently.

The tips of the roots should be soaked using a hose, but it is best to let the soil dry between watering sessions. If your lawn is yellowing, it is a sign that your elm needs water. The same is true if your elm tree has browning or wilting leaves. If your elm tree does not show any of these signs you can safely assume that it is not lacking water, but it is best to water it every few days anyway.

You need to fertilize it one or two times a year using slow release nitrogen. This way, your elm will continue getting its nutrients throughout the growing season. Make sure you buy one meant especially for elms, and that it is applied just under the grass roots.


Despite needing more care than other trees, American Elm Trees are popular in many homes that have large gardens. Their large, dome-like canopy means it will provide plenty of shade under which most people like to set up a swing. The sturdy branches ensure that it is perfectly stable, and as such, many people are fond of having them in their backyard.

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Author: grows american elms as well as other landscaping trees,shrubs and perennials.

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