A tall tree, growing to 100 feet or more. This tree is divided into several large, ascending limbs that end in a maze of graceful drooping branchlets. The vase-shaped form helps to identify tree from a distance. Also known as White Elm, Gray Elm, Water Elm, or the Swamp Elm. It is among the earliest of all trees to produce flowers in spring. The wood is light in color and hard to split. Used for furniture, crates, barrels and railroad ties. Orioles use the drooping boughs as nesting sites. Goldfinches and purple finches are attracted to its fruit in Spring and it is known as emergency food for gray and fox squirrels. Dutch Elm fungal disease has killed a majority of the largest trees. Elms were council trees for American Indian tribes and meeting places for peace talks with the white man.
3-5” long oval, toothed, and abruptly pointed. Base can be asymmetrical.
Dark ashy gray flat topped ridges separated by diamond shaped fissures. Inner bark shows reddish brown and tan layers.
Smooth, reddish brown, small pointed light brown buds over ¼” long, reddish-brown with darker edge scales.
Disk-like flat seed, enclosed in papery fruit (samara), deeply notched at the apex.
Small drooping clusters on long stalks that appear in Spring before leaves.