White elm

Silhouette - white elm
  • Latin name: Ulmus americana L.
  • French name: Orme d'Amérique
  • Synonym(s): American elm
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 19049
Description

Leaves

  • Leaf - white elm

Form

  • Moderately rough, occasionally smooth
  • Lower surface slightly hairy
  • 15–20 veins per side, not more than 2 or 3 forked

Length

  • 10–15 cm

Colour

  • Upper surface dark green
  • Lower surface paler

Autumn colour

  • Yellow

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - white elm

Form

  • Somewhat flattened, blunt
  • End bud bent, others pressed against the twig
  • 6–9 scales, sometimes slightly hairy

Length

  • 5 mm

Colour

  • Reddish-brown, margins darker

Margin

  • Hairy

Twigs

  • Winter twig - white elm

Form

  • Often zigzag, hairless or slightly hairy
  • Lenticels inconspicuous

Colour

  • Greyish-brown

Flowers

Form

  • Each on a separate stalk, in loose, few-flowered, tassel-like clusters (fascicles)

Structure

  • Synoecious

Fruits

  • Fruit - white elm

Form

  • Oval, veined, fringed with hairs, otherwise hairless
  • Wing deeply notched at the tip
  • Seedcase distinct

Length

  • 8–10 mm

Bark

Form

  • Deeply furrowed with broad, oblique, intersecting ridges, becoming scaly with age

Colour

  • Dark greyish-brown, becoming mottled ash-grey with age
  • Outer bark shows alternating layers of light orange-brown and dark brown

Size

Height

  • To 35 m

Diameter

  • To 175 cm

Maximum age

  • 200 years

Tree form

  • Silhouette - white elm

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Buttressed at the base with prominent root flares
  • Divides into a few large, upright limbs and many outwardly fanning branches

Crown

  • Graceful, spreading, vase- or umbrella-shaped
  • Branch tips often droop

Root system

Shallow, wide-spreading

Habitat

Site

  • Wet sites and alluvial flats where water often remains in the spring
  • Rich, moist, sandy or gravelly loams with good drainage

Light tolerance

  • Moderately shade-tolerant, but grows better in full sunlight
Insects and diseases

Insects and diseases that are found most frequently and/or that cause the most damage in our Canadian forests.

Photos
  • White elm
  • White elm
  • White elm
  • White elm
  • White elm
  • White elm
  • White elm
Distribution map
Distribution map - white elm
Date modified: