Boone County Arboretum
9190 Camp Ernst Road
Union, Kentucky 41091
Phone: (859) 384-4999
Fax: (859) 384-6888

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Cultural Details for Ulmus americana

Common Name:
American Elm (White, Gray, Water, or Swamp Elm)

Growth Rate:
Medium to fast 10-12' in 5 years; this rate of growth is common for many elms

Average Mature Height:

Average Mature Width:

Flower Details:
Perfect, greenish red, in fascicles of 3 or 4, March, interesting but not showy

Fruit Details:
Rounded, notched, disc-shaped samara, 0.5" long, maturing in May through June, not ornamental, greenish, but may have reddish tinge, fringed with hairs

Fall Color:
Yellow in fall; great variation in intensity of fall coloration

Bark Details:
Dark gray with broad, deep, intersecting ridges, or often scaly; outer bark in cross section shows layers of a whitish-buff color alternating with thicker dark layers

Disease / Insect Problems or Resistance:
The elms are, unfortunately, subject to many pests. Many of the pests are devastating and control measures are simply not effective or available.

Native Habitat:
Newfoundland to Florida, west to the foot of the Rockies. Naturally found in bottomlands, floodplains, swamp forests, ravines and rich woodlands. Introduced 1752.

Other Features:
Vase-shaped form in which the trunk divides into several erect limbs strongly arched above and terminating in numerous slender often pendulous branchlets, the whole tree a picture of great beauty and symmetry.

Culture and Care:
Easily transplanted; prefers rich, moist soils but grows well under a variety of conditions; in the wild the tree inhabits wet flats where standing water may accumulate in the spring and fall; prune in fall; pH tolerant; shows good soil salt tolerance

This plant was blooming:
3/11/2010 - 3/22/2010

Plantings of this cultivar at Boone County Arboretum:
1167, 1471, 8610, 8642

    The information on this page may have come from one or more of the following sources:
  • Dirr, Michael. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. Stipes Publishing. 1998.
  • Hightshoe, Gary L. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America. John Wiley & Sons. 1988.
  • North Carolina Extension Plant Fact Sheets.
  • University of Connecticut Plant Database.