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American elm

Botanical Name:

Ulmus americana

Common Name:

American elm,Orme d'amérique,White elm,Soft elm,Water elm,Common elm,American Water Elm

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Description

The American elm is a deciduous hermaphroditic tree which, before the introduction of DED, commonly grew to more than 100 feet (30 m) tall with a trunk whose diameter at breast height was more than 4 feet (1.2 m) and whose circumference was more than 150 inches (380 cm) when supporting a high, spreading umbrella-like canopy. The leaves are alternate, 7–20 cm long, with double-serrate margins and an oblique base. The perfect flowers are small, purple-brown and, being wind-pollinated, apetalous. The flowers are also protogynous, the female parts maturing before the male, thus reducing, but not eliminating, self-fertilization, and emerge in early spring before the leaves. The fruit is a flat samara 2 cm long by 1.5 cm broad, with a circular papery wing surrounding the single 4–5 mm seed. As in the closely related European White Elm Ulmus laevis, the flowers and seeds are borne on 1–3 cm long stems. American Elm is wholly insensitive to daylight length (photoperiod), and will continue to grow well into autumn until injured by frost. Ploidy is 2n = 56, or more rarely, 2n = 28.   U. americana, Toronto, c.1914   Bark   Leaf   Foliage   Seedlings

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Taxonomy

Order

Urticales

Family

Ulmus - Elms

Genus

Ulmus

Characteristics

Bloom Time

Winter, Feb, Mar, Apr

Plant Type

Trees, Native Plant, Tree

Lifespan

Woody, Perennial

Plant Height

72-100 ft.

Flower

The American elm has insignificant small green flowers that appear in spring before the foliage emerges. In North Carolina, flowers are available from February to March., Drooping clusters of 3-4, appearing before the leaves, small, hairy.

Fruit

The flowers give way to single-seeded wafer-like samaras (each tiny seed is surrounded by a flattened oval-rounded papery wing). The seeds mature in April-May as the leaves reach full size. In North Carolina, fruits are available from March to April., Samaras ovate to oval, veiny, flat, smooth on the faces but densely ciliate along the edges, with a small perforation near the top.

How to Grow

Water

Average, High

Sunlight

Full Sun, Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day), Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours), Sun, Part Shade

Soil

Moist, fertile soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Limestone-based

Benefits
Ornamental

Shade tree, Fast growing, Attractive, Fall conspicuous

Attracts

Butterflies

Moths

Pollinators

Small Mammals

Songbirds

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