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Elm: Common Species and Features


Elm belongs to the Ilmov family. This is a large tree with a spreading, dense crown found in Europe, North America, Asia in the temperate zone, and also in tropical Asia in the mountains. The Latin name Ulmus comes from the Celtic name for this tree - elm. In the Russian language there are several plant names: elm, elm, birch bark, elm, but usually these are names of different species. In total there are 16 species of this genus.

What does elm look like?

Elm - a large tree with an elliptical or rounded crown. Spreading branches with dense foliage. The leaves are simple, large, alternate, often unequal. The plant blooms before blooming leaves. Flowers are inconspicuous, small, gather in bunches. Winged nuts ripen several weeks after the flowering period. Seeds lose their germination fairly quickly. Elm wood is solid, similar to European walnut, it is considered a valuable breed.

Elm gives a thick shadow, but he loves sunny places. At a young age, grows rapidly, especially if the soil is fresh, fertile, loose.

Resistant to dry conditions, tolerates pruning.

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Common Elm Species

  • English (Ulmus procera Salisb) grows in southern and western Europe. Distributed in broad-leaved, mixed forests, in river valleys, floodplains of rivers on rich soils.

    The tree grows up to 50 m. It has high winter hardiness.

  • Elm Androsova (Ulmus x androssowii Litv) - a hybrid between squat and dense elms. Many attribute it to a variety of squat elm. The tree reaches 20 m, has a very dense crown in the form of a tent. The bark is gray, on young shoots it is yellowish or ashen. The leaves are round-ovate, pointed to the top, grow on fluffy cuttings 1 cm long. The winged fruits are angular-round, 2.5 cm long.

    The species is winter-hardy, needs soils with moderate humidity, although it tolerates aridity quite well. It grows quickly, propagated by seeds. Often used in park construction, beautiful in group plantings and in solitary. Also used as live hedges.

  • Common Elm is also called Smooth (Ulmus laevisPall). It grows in nature in the European part of Russia, Western Siberia, the Caucasus, Kazakhstan, and Western Europe. This shade-tolerant tree, preferring rich soils, usually grows in deciduous forests.

    It grows up to 25 m, has a beautiful elliptical wide crown. The branches are thin, hanging. The young shoots are fluffy, with growing older they become smooth, shiny. The bark is light brown; it grows dark in adult trees, becomes brownish-brown and exfoliates with thin plates. Leaflets oblong, pointed, unequal at base. The edges of the leaves are sickle-jagged. Above the leaves are dark green, light green below. The lower part of the leaves is soft-hairy, the upper part is naked. In autumn, the color changes to brownish-purple tones. The flowers are small, brownish, with purple protruding stamens. Peduncles long, descending. Elm blooms for 10 days, after which lion fruits are formed with cilia along the edge.

    Elm is a long-lived, lives up to 300 years. It grows quickly, tolerates a haircut, keeps the shape of a crown. In urban conditions it grows slowly, especially on poor, dry soils. Early leaf fall, drying out of the crown may occur. Dense soils and asphalting also inhibit elm growth. He does not like shading by buildings, dust, salinization of the soil.

    It is used in single, group plantings, looks beautiful in the alleys.

  • Dipper (Ulmus carpinifolia Rupp. Ex Suckow) found in the Caucasus, Central Asia, the European part of Russia, North Africa, Kazakhstan, Western Europe. It grows in broadleaf forests in bright places.

    The elm reaches 20 m in height, it has a thick spreading crown, reaching 10 m in diameter.

    The branches are thin, dark brown, have cork growths. The leaves are dark green, dense, unequal, shiny. Shape and size vary. Top leaflets bare, covered with sparse hairs below. In autumn, the foliage becomes bright yellow. Blossoms before the leaves open, small flowers are reddish-red, gather in spherical bunches. Lion-fruit 2 cm long.

    Very winter-hardy wood, quite salt tolerant. Undemanding to the soil, although active growth is observed on nutritious, moist soils.

    It forms dense hedges and walls, is used in the design of gardens, squares, parks.

  • Thick (Ulmus densa Litv) common in the wild in Central Asia. It is a tall, up to 30 m, tree with a dense, wide, pyramidal, lowered crown. The bark on the young shoots is yellow-brown or gray, on the old branches it is dark. Leaflets are leathery, oblong-ovate, as glabrous, so are also pubescent.

    An unpretentious tree, drought-resistant, therefore, it is perfect for landscaping the southern European part of Russia for single plantings, creating alleys, compositions.

  • Vane (Ulmus laciniata (Trautv.) Mayr) grows in East Asia, the Far East. Located in coniferous-deciduous mixed forests. This tree is shade-hardy, quite frost-resistant. It is good to apply in decorative gardening.
  • Cirrus Elm also called Karagach cirrus and Eucalyptus (Ulmus pinnato-ramosa Dieck). It grows in the wild in Kazakhstan, the Far East, Eastern Siberia and East Asia. It usually grows on pebbles, sands, gravel scree, found in light forests, valley forests. He loves lighted places, salt tolerance.

    A tree grows up to 15 m. Crohn's lace is open, sprawling in young trees, oval in adults. The branches are thin, flexible, drooping, grayish-pubescent. Small leaves are elliptical in shape, smooth, symmetrical, dark green in summer, yellow in autumn. The leaves are arranged in two rows, so the shoots look covered with large pinnate leaves, for this reason this name was given to the species. The flowers are small, gather in bunches.

    Cirrus elm is quite winter-hardy and freezes in harsh winters. Resistant to drought, undemanding to soils. It grows very fast. But large trees reach only in the southern regions on well-moistened soils. Hardy to urban conditions, to asphalting, street dust, smoke. He is beautiful in decorative landings, but does not give a street shadow. A more compact and thick crown can be formed by trimming.

  • Squat elm also called small-leaved, Ilmovik (Ulmus pumila L). It grows in the wild in the Far East, northern Mongolia, Japan, Korea, and Transbaikalia.

    It occurs in broad-leaved, mixed forests, prefers fertile soils.

    Low, grows up to 15 m, sometimes grows with a bush with a dense rounded crown. The branches are thin, young pubescent. Leaflets are small, elliptical, leathery, with a sharp short top, somewhat unequal.

    In spring, the leaves are green, the lower part of the leaf is light green. In summer, the leaves darken, in the fall olive yellow. Flowers gather in small bunches. Lion seeds are buffy or yellow-brown. Winter hardiness is average, this species is photophilous, unpretentious to the soil, to its wealth and moisture.

    Squat elm is drought tolerant, tolerates molding, haircuts. Develops in urban environments.

    This species is easy to tolerate transplant, very good for landscaping arid areas. The undoubted advantage of elm is the absence of root offspring, this is a wonderful quality for garden and park construction. It is used in landscaping new buildings, creating hedges, street planting.

  • Akin elm has a second name - Japanese birch bark (Ulmus propinqua Koidz = U. japonica (Rehder) Sarg). It grows in eastern Transbaikalia, Mongolia, Japan, Northern China, and the Far East. Distributed in cedar-deciduous valley forests.

    This type of elm is a large plant up to 35 m in height, beautiful, with a regular straight straight trunk, wide spreading crown, quite dense.

    The bark is whitish on the trunk, brown on the shoots, smooth or with cork growths, it looks beautiful when the plant is not covered with foliage.

    Young shoots have a thick edge, dark brown buds. Obovate leaves have an unequal base grow on a short petiole. Top leaves are rough-pubescent, fluffy below. In spring, the foliage is green, darkens in summer, brownish-red, dark raspberry, brown-chestnut in autumn, whitish leaves below. The flowers are small, reddish, gather in bunches. Yellow-brown lionfish seeds.

    Japanese birch grows faster than other elms, tolerates shading, frost, urban conditions. Propagated by root offspring and seeds. Good for landscaping cities, parks, green building. Especially beautiful in the autumn.

  • Rough elm also called Ilm Mountain (Ulmus scabra Mill. = Glabra Huds). It grows in the Balkans, in Scandinavia, on the European territory of Russia, in Asia Minor, and Central Europe.

    Distributed in deciduous and coniferous-deciduous forests, usually on calcareous soils.

    This species has a wide rounded crown, rather dense, grows up to 35 m under good conditions. The bark is smooth, dark brown, on the branches of dark brown. Young twigs are densely covered with hairs. The leaves are large, up to 17 cm in length.

    Obovate, with sharp denticles along the edge. The top of the leaves is rough, the bottom is stiff. Foliage is dark green, turns yellow in the fall. Flowers are nondescript, gather in spherical bunches, grow on long pedicels. Blossoms elm up to 7 days.

    Seeds are large, winged, greenish.

    This elm grows quickly, unlike many other species, it is demanding on the soil, its moisture. It grows well in shaded places, is resistant to frost, tolerates good urban conditions, and is drought tolerant.





Royal garden. Elm planted by the king (video)

Rough elm lives for a long time, up to 300 years. It goes well in decorative planting with oak, linden, maple.