Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the flowering plant genus Ulmus in the plant family Ulmaceae. The genus first appeared in the Miocene geological period about 20 million years ago, originating in what is now central Asia.[1] These trees flourished and spread over most of the Northern Hemisphere, inhabiting the temperate and tropical-montane regions of North America and Eurasia, presently ranging southward across the Equator into Indonesia.

Elms are components of many kinds of natural forests. Moreover, during the 19th and early 20th centuries many species and cultivars were also planted as ornamental street, garden, and park trees in Europe, North America, and parts of the Southern Hemisphere, notably Australasia. Some individual elms reached great size and age. However, in recent decades, most mature elms of European or North American origin have died from Dutch elm disease, caused by a microfungus dispersed by bark beetles. In response, disease-resistant cultivars have been developed, capable of restoring the elm to forestry and landscaping.

East Coker elm, 2
Ulmus minor,

East Coker, Somerset, UK.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Ulmaceae
Genus: Ulmus



There are about 30 to 40 species of Ulmus (elm); the ambiguity in number results from difficulty in delineating species, owing to the ease of hybridization between them and the development of local seed-sterile vegetatively propagated microspecies in some areas, mainly in the field elm (Ulmus minor) group. Oliver Rackham[2] describes Ulmus as the most critical genus in the entire British flora, adding that 'species and varieties are a distinction in the human mind rather than a measured degree of genetic variation'. Eight species are endemic to North America, and a smaller number to Europe;[3] the greatest diversity is found in Asia.[4]

The classification adopted in the List of elm species, varieties, cultivars and hybrids is largely based on that established by Brummitt.[5] A large number of synonyms have accumulated over the last three centuries; their currently accepted names can be found in the list List of elm Synonyms and Accepted Names.

Botanists who study elms and argue over elm identification and classification are called pteleologists, from the Greek πτελέα (:elm).[6]

As part of the sub-order urticalean rosids they are distant cousins of cannabis, hops, and nettles.


The name Ulmus is the Latin name for these trees, while the English "elm" and many other European names are either cognate with or derived from it.[7]


The genus is hermaphroditic, having apetalous perfect flowers which are wind-pollinated. Elm leaves are alternate, with simple, single- or, most commonly, doubly serrate margins, usually asymmetric at the base and acuminate at the apex. The fruit is a round wind-dispersed samara flushed with chlorophyll, facilitating photosynthesis before the leaves emerge.[8] The samarae are very light, those of British elms numbering around 50,000 to the pound (454 g). [9] All species are tolerant of a wide range of soils and pH levels but, with few exceptions, demand good drainage. The elm tree can grow to great height, often with a forked trunk creating a vase profile.

Sapporo Autumn Gold, Florence

'Sapporo Autumn Gold', Antella, Florence

Ulmus glabra

Wych elm (Ulmus glabra) leaves and seeds

Ulmus rubra leaf

Asymmetry of leaf, Slippery Elm U. rubra

Mature Ulmus rubra bark

Mature bark, Slippery Elm U. rubra

Columella flowers

Flowers of the hybrid elm cultivar 'Columella'

Winged Elm Ulmus alata 2009-05-10

Corky wings, Winged Elm U. alata

Laciniata samara

U. laciniata samara

Lovers' Elm, Gwynne estate, Dufferin Street

U. americana, Dufferin St., Toronto, c. 1914

Pests and diseases

Dutch elm disease

Dutch elm disease (DED) devastated elms throughout Europe and much of North America in the second half of the 20th century. It derives its name 'Dutch' from the first description of the disease and its cause in the 1920s by the Dutch botanists Bea Schwarz and Christina Johanna Buisman. Owing to its geographical isolation and effective quarantine enforcement, Australia has so far remained unaffected by Dutch Elm Disease, as have the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia in western Canada.

DED is caused by a micro-fungus transmitted by two species of Scolytus elm-bark beetle which act as vectors. The disease affects all species of elm native to North America and Europe, but many Asiatic species have evolved anti-fungal genes and are resistant. Fungal spores, introduced into wounds in the tree caused by the beetles, invade the xylem or vascular system. The tree responds by producing tyloses, effectively blocking the flow from roots to leaves. Woodland trees in North America are not quite as susceptible to the disease because they usually lack the root-grafting of the urban elms and are somewhat more isolated from each other. In France, inoculation with the fungus of over three hundred clones of the European species failed to find a single variety possessed of any significant resistance.

The first, less aggressive strain of the disease fungus, Ophiostoma ulmi, arrived in Europe from the Far East in 1910, and was accidentally introduced to North America in 1928, but was steadily weakened by viruses and had all but disappeared in Europe by the 1940s. The second, far more virulent strain of the disease Ophiostoma novo-ulmi was identified in Europe in the late 1960s, and within a decade had killed over 20 million trees (approximately 75%) in the UK alone. Approximately three times more deadly, the new strain arrived in Europe from the US on a cargo of Rock Elm; the hypothesis that it arose from a hybrid between the original O. ulmi and another strain endemic to the Himalaya, Ophiostoma himal-ulmi is now discredited.[10]

There is no sign of the current pandemic waning, and no evidence of a susceptibility of the fungus to a disease of its own caused by d-factors: naturally occurring virus-like agents that severely debilitated the original O. ulmi and reduced its sporulation.[11]

Elm phloem necrosis

Elm phloem necrosis (elm yellows) is a disease of elm trees that is spread by leafhoppers or by root grafts.[12] This very aggressive disease, with no known cure, occurs in the Eastern United States, southern Ontario in Canada, and Europe. It is caused by phytoplasmas which infect the phloem (inner bark) of the tree.[13] Infection and death of the phloem effectively girdles the tree and stops the flow of water and nutrients. The disease affects both wild-growing and cultivated trees. Occasionally, cutting the infected tree before the disease completely establishes itself and cleanup and prompt disposal of infected matter has resulted in the plant's survival via stump-sprouts.


Most serious of the elm pests is the elm leaf beetle Xanthogaleruca luteola, which can decimate foliage, although rarely with fatal results. The beetle was accidentally introduced to North America from Europe. Another unwelcome immigrant to North America is the Japanese beetle Popillia japonica. In both instances the beetles cause far more damage in North America owing to the absence of the predators present in their native lands. In Australia, introduced elm trees are sometimes used as foodplants by the larvae of hepialid moths of the genus Aenetus. These burrow horizontally into the trunk then vertically down.[14][15]


Sapsucker woodpeckers have a great love of young elm trees.

Development of trees resistant to Dutch elm disease

Efforts to develop resistant cultivars began in the Netherlands in 1928 and continued, uninterrupted by World War II, until 1992.[16] Similar programmes were initiated in North America (1937), Italy (1978), and Spain (1986). Research has followed two paths:

Species and species cultivars

In North America, careful selection has produced a number of trees resistant not only to disease, but also to the droughts and extremely cold winters afflicting the continent. Research in the US has concentrated on the American Elm U. americana, resulting in the release of highly resistant clones, notably the cultivars 'Valley Forge' and 'Jefferson'. Much work has also been done into the selection of disease-resistant Asiatic species and cultivars.[17][18]

In Europe, the European White Elm Ulmus laevis has received much attention. Whilst this elm has little innate resistance to Dutch elm disease, it is not favoured by the vector bark beetles and thus only becomes colonized and infected when there are no other choices, a rare situation in western Europe. Research in Spain has suggested that it may be the presence of a triterpene, alnulin, which makes the tree bark unattractive to the beetle species that spread the disease.[19] However this possibility has not been conclusively proven.[20] More recently, Field Elms Ulmus minor highly resistant to DED have been discovered in Spain, and form the basis of a major breeding programme.[21]

Hybrid cultivars

Owing to their innate resistance to Dutch elm disease, Asiatic species have been crossed with European species, or with other Asiatic elms, to produce trees which are both highly resistant to disease and tolerant of native climates. After a number of false dawns in the 1970s, this approach has produced a range of reliable hybrid cultivars now commercially available in North America and Europe.[22][23][24][25][26][27][28] Disease resistance is invariably carried by the female parent.[29]

However, some of these cultivars, notably those with the Siberian Elm U. pumila in their ancestry, lack the forms for which the iconic American Elm and English Elm were prized. Moreover, several exported to northwestern Europe have proven unsuited to the maritime climate conditions there, notably because of their intolerance of anoxic conditions resulting from ponding on poorly drained soils in winter. Dutch hybridizations invariably included the Himalayan Elm U. wallichiana as a source of anti-fungal genes and have proven more tolerant of wet ground; they should also ultimately reach a greater size. However, the susceptibility of the cultivar 'Lobel', used as a control in Italian trials, to elm yellows has now (2014) raised a question mark over all the Dutch clones.[30]

A number of highly resistant Ulmus cultivars has been released since 2000 by the Institute of Plant Protection in Florence, most commonly featuring crosses of the Dutch cultivar 'Plantijn' with the Siberian Elm to produce resistant trees better adapted to the Mediterranean climate.[23]

Cautions regarding novel cultivars

Elms take many decades to grow to maturity, and as the introduction of these disease-resistant cultivars is relatively recent, their long-term performance and ultimate size and form cannot be predicted with certainty. The National Elm Trial in North America, begun in 2005, is a nationwide trial to assess strengths and weaknesses of the 19 leading cultivars raised in the US over a ten-year period; European cultivars have been excluded. Meanwhile, in Europe, American and European cultivars are being assessed in field trials started in 2000 by the UK charity Butterfly Conservation.[31]

RN Ulmus minor Umbraculifera
The ball-headed graft narvan elm, Ulmus minor 'Umbraculifera', cultivated in Persia and widely planted in central Asia.
Lafayette Street, Salem, MA
Lafayette Street in Salem, Massachusetts in 1910: an example of the 'high-tunnelled effects' of Ulmus americana avenues once common in New England

Uses in landscaping

Camperdown Elm Prospect Park Brooklyn
Camperdown elm (Ulmus 'Camperdown'), cultivated in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York
English Elm avenue
An avenue of elm trees in Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne

One of the earliest of ornamental elms was the ball-headed graft narvan elm, Ulmus minor 'Umbraculifera', cultivated from time immemorial in Persia as a shade tree and widely planted in cities through much of south-west and central Asia. From the 18th century to the early 20th century, elms, whether species, hybrids or cultivars, were among the most widely planted ornamental trees in both Europe and North America. They were particularly popular as a street tree in avenue plantings in towns and cities, creating high-tunnelled effects. Their quick growth and variety of foliage and forms,[32] their tolerance of air-pollution and the comparatively rapid decomposition of their leaf-litter in the fall were further advantages. In North America, the species most commonly planted was the American elm (Ulmus americana), which had unique properties that made it ideal for such use: rapid growth, adaptation to a broad range of climates and soils, strong wood, resistance to wind damage, and vase-like growth habit requiring minimal pruning. In Europe, the wych elm (Ulmus glabra) and the Field Elm (Ulmus minor) were the most widely planted in the countryside, the former in northern areas including Scandinavia and northern Britain, the latter further south. The hybrid between these two, Dutch elm (U. × hollandica), occurs naturally and was also commonly planted. In much of England, it was the English Elm which later came to dominate the horticultural landscape. Most commonly planted in hedgerows, it sometimes occurred in densities of over 1000 per square kilometre. In south-eastern Australia and New Zealand, large numbers of English and Dutch elms, as well as other species and cultivars, were planted as ornamentals following their introduction in the 19th century, while in northern Japan Japanese Elm (Ulmus davidiana var. japonica) was widely planted as a street tree. From about 1850 to 1920, the most prized small ornamental elm in parks and gardens was the Camperdown elm (Ulmus glabra 'Camperdownii'), a contorted weeping cultivar of the Wych Elm grafted on to a non-weeping elm trunk to give a wide, spreading and weeping fountain shape in large garden spaces.

In northern Europe elms were, moreover, among the few trees tolerant of saline deposits from sea spray, which can cause "salt-burning" and die-back. This tolerance made elms reliable both as shelterbelt trees exposed to sea wind, in particular along the coastlines of southern and western Britain[33][34] and in the Low Countries, and as trees for coastal towns and cities.[35]

This belle époque lasted until the First World War, when as a consequence of hostilities, notably in Germany whence at least 40 cultivars originated, and of the outbreak at about the same time of the early strain of Dutch elm disease, Ophiostoma ulmi, the elm began its slide into horticultural decline. The devastation caused by the Second World War, and the demise in 1944 of the huge Späth nursery in Berlin, only accelerated the process. The outbreak of the new, three times more virulent, strain of Dutch elm disease Ophiostoma novo-ulmi in the late 1960s brought the tree to its nadir.

Since circa 1990 the elm has enjoyed a renaissance through the successful development in North America and Europe of cultivars highly resistant to the new disease.[8] Consequently, the total number of named cultivars, ancient and modern, now exceeds 300, although many of the older clones, possibly over 120, have been lost to cultivation. Some of the latter, however, were by today's standards inadequately described or illustrated before the pandemic, and it is possible that a number survive, or have regenerated, unrecognised. Enthusiasm for the newer clones often remains low owing to the poor performance of earlier, supposedly disease-resistant Dutch trees released in the 1960s and 1970s. In the Netherlands, sales of elm cultivars slumped from over 56,000 in 1989 to just 6,800 in 2004,[36] whilst in the UK, only four of the new American and European releases were commercially available in 2008.

Other uses


Elm wood grain
Elm wood
John Constable 006
Elm in boat-building: John Constable, Boat-building near Flatford Mill, 1815 (landscape with hybrid elms Ulmus × hollandica[1])
English longbow of elm

Elm wood is valued for its interlocking grain, and consequent resistance to splitting, with significant uses in wagon wheel hubs, chair seats and coffins. The bodies of Japanese Taiko drums are often cut from the wood of old elm trees, as the wood's resistance to splitting is highly desired for nailing the skins to them, and a set of three or more is often cut from the same tree. The elm's wood bends well and distorts easily making it quite pliant. The often long, straight, trunks were favoured as a source of timber for keels in ship construction. Elm is also prized by bowyers; of the ancient bows found in Europe, a large portion are elm. During the Middle Ages elm was also used to make longbows if yew was unavailable.

The first written references to elm occur in the Linear B lists of military equipment at Knossos in the Mycenaean Period. Several of the chariots are of elm (" πτε-ρε-ϝα ", pte-re-wa), and the lists twice mention wheels of elmwood.[37] Hesiod says that ploughs in Ancient Greece were also made partly of elm.[38]

The density of elm wood varies between species, but averages around 560 kg per cubic metre.[39]

Elm wood is also resistant to decay when permanently wet, and hollowed trunks were widely used as water pipes during the medieval period in Europe. Elm was also used as piers in the construction of the original London Bridge. However this resistance to decay in water does not extend to ground contact.[39]


The Romans, and more recently the Italians, used to plant elms in vineyards as supports for vines. Lopped at three metres, the elms' quick growth, twiggy lateral branches, light shade and root-suckering made them ideal trees for this purpose. The lopped branches were used for fodder and firewood.[40] Ovid in his Amores characterizes the elm as "loving the vine": ulmus amat vitem, vitis non deserit ulmum (:the elm loves the vine, the vine does not desert the elm),[41] and the ancients spoke of the "marriage" between elm and vine.[42]

Medicinal products

The mucilaginous inner bark of the Slippery Elm Ulmus rubra has long been used as a demulcent, and is still produced commercially for this purpose in the United States with approval for sale as a nutritional supplement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.[43]


Elms also have a long history of cultivation for fodder, with the leafy branches cut to feed livestock. The practice continues today in the Himalaya, where it contributes to serious deforestation.[44]


As fossil fuel resources diminish, increasing attention is being paid to trees as sources of energy. In Italy, the Istituto per la Protezione delle Piante is (2012) in the process of releasing to commerce very fast-growing elm cultivars, able to increase in height by more than 2 m (6 ft) per annum.[45]


Elm bark, cut into strips and boiled, sustained much of the rural population of Norway during the great famine of 1812. The seeds are particularly nutritious, containing 45% crude protein, and less than 7% fibre by dry mass.[46]

Molen De Hoop, Oldebroek spoorwiel
Internal mill-wheel of elm, De Hoop mill, Oldebroek, Netherlands

Alternative medicine

Elm has been listed as one of the 38 substances that are used to prepare Bach flower remedies,[47] a kind of alternative medicine.


Ulmus Parvifolia
Chinese Elm Ulmus parvifolia bonsai

Chinese elm Ulmus parvifolia is a popular choice for bonsai owing to its tolerance of severe pruning.

Genetic resource conservation

In 1997, a European Union elm project was initiated, its aim to coordinate the conservation of all the elm genetic resources of the member states and, among other things, to assess their resistance to Dutch elm disease. Accordingly, over 300 clones were selected and propagated for testing.[48][49][50]

Notable elm trees

Many elm (Ulmus) trees of various kinds have attained great size or otherwise become particularly noteworthy.

In art

Many artists have admired elms for the ease and grace of their branching and foliage, and have painted them with sensitivity. Elms are a recurring element in the landscapes and studies of, for example, John Constable, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Frederick Childe Hassam, Karel Klinkenberg,[51] and George Inness.

Constable - Study of an Elm Tree - c1821.jpeg

John Constable, 'Study of an Elm Tree' [1821]

John Constable 008

John Constable, 'The Cornfield' [1826] (Ulmus × hollandica[1])

John Constable 017

Constable, 'Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Garden' [1823 version] (Ulmus × hollandica[1])

Jacob George Strutt elms

Jacob George Strutt, Elms at Mongewell, Oxfordshire [1830] (Ulmus minor 'Atinia')

Waldmüller - Partie aus dem Prater1.jpeg

Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, 'Alte Ulmen im Prater' (:Old Elms in Prater) [1831]

James Duffield Harding - The Great Exhibition of 1851 - Google Art Project

James Duffield Harding, 'The Great Exhibition of 1851' (Ulmus minor 'Atinia', centre)

Arthur Hughes - Back from Sea

Arthur Hughes, 'Home from Sea' [1862] (Ulmus minor 'Atinia'[1])

Ford Madox Brown - Work - artchive.com

Ford Madox Brown, 'Work' [1863] (Ulmus minor 'Atinia'[1])

AmCyc Elm - American Elm (tree)

[unknown artist] The American Elm [1879] (Ulmus americana)

Glaspalast München 1890 165

Johannes Karel Christiaan Klinkenberg, 'Amsterdam' [1890] (Ulmus x hollandica ‘Belgica' )

Childe Hassam - Champs Elysées, Paris

Frederick Childe Hassam, 'Champs Elysées, Paris' [1889] (Ulmus × hollandica, 'orme femelle'[1])

Hassam Washington Arch Spring

Frederick Childe Hassam, 'Washington Arch, Spring' [1893] (Ulmus americana)

Church at Old Lyme Childe Hassam.jpeg

Frederick Childe Hassam, 'Church at Old Lyme' [1905] (Ulmus americana)

Childe Hassam's 1920 oil, The East Hampton Elms in May

Frederick Childe Hassam, 'The East Hampton Elms in May' [1920] (Ulmus americana)


George Inness, 'Old Elm at Medfield' (Ulmus americana)

PSM V65 D491 The cam near trinity college cambridge university

Unknown artist, 'The Cam near Trinity College, Cambridge', England (Ulmus atinia)

In mythology and literature

Max Slevogt Achill
Achilles and Scamander
Dryad (PSF)

In Greek mythology the nymph Ptelea (Πτελέα, Elm) was one of the eight Hamadryads, nymphs of the forest and daughters of Oxylos and Hamadryas.[52] In his Hymn to Artemis the poet Callimachus (3rd century BC) tells how, at the age of three, the infant goddess Artemis practised her newly acquired silver bow and arrows, made for her by Hephaestus and the Cyclopes, by shooting first at an elm, then at an oak, before turning her aim on a wild animal:

πρῶτον ἐπὶ πτελέην, τὸ δὲ δεύτερον ἧκας ἐπὶ δρῦν, τὸ τρίτον αὖτ᾽ ἐπὶ θῆρα.[53]

The first reference in literature to elms occurs in the Iliad. When Eetion, father of Andromache, is killed by Achilles during the Trojan War, the Mountain Nymphs plant elms on his tomb ("περὶ δὲ πτελέoι εφύτεψαν νύμφαι ὀρεστιάδες, κoῦραι Διὸς αἰγιόχoιo").[54] Also in the Iliad, when the River Scamander, indignant at the sight of so many corpses in his water, overflows and threatens to drown Achilles, the latter grasps a branch of a great elm in an attempt to save himself ("ὁ δὲ πτελέην ἕλε χερσὶν εὐφυέα μεγάλην".[55]

The Nymphs also planted elms on the tomb in the Thracian Chersonese of "great-hearted Protesilaus" ("μεγάθυμου Πρωτεσιλάου"), the first Greek to fall in the Trojan War. These elms grew to be the tallest in the known world; but when their topmost branches saw far off the ruins of Troy, they immediately withered, so great still was the bitterness of the hero buried below, who had been loved by Laodamia and slain by Hector.[56][57][58] The story is the subject of a poem by Antiphilus of Byzantium (1st century AD) in the Palatine Anthology:

Θεσσαλὲ Πρωτεσίλαε, σὲ μὲν πολὺς ᾄσεται αἰών,
Tρoίᾳ ὀφειλoμένoυ πτώματος ἀρξάμενoν•
σᾶμα δὲ τοι πτελέῃσι συνηρεφὲς ἀμφικoμεῦση
Nύμφαι, ἀπεχθoμένης Ἰλίoυ ἀντιπέρας.
Δένδρα δὲ δυσμήνιτα, καὶ ἤν ποτε τεῖχoς ἴδωσι
Tρώϊον, αὐαλέην φυλλοχoεῦντι κόμην.
ὅσσoς ἐν ἡρώεσσι τότ᾽ ἦν χόλoς, oὗ μέρoς ἀκμὴν
ἐχθρὸν ἐν ἀψύχoις σώζεται ἀκρέμoσιν.[59]
[:Thessalian Protesilaos, a long age shall sing your praises,
Of the destined dead at Troy the first;
Your tomb with thick-foliaged elms they covered,
The nymphs, across the water from hated Ilion.
Trees full of anger; and whenever that wall they see,
Of Troy, the leaves in their upper crown wither and fall.
So great in the heroes was the bitterness then, some of which still
Remembers, hostile, in the soulless upper branches.]

Protesilaus had been king of Pteleos (Πτελεός) in Thessaly, which took its name from the abundant elms (πτελέoι) in the region.[60]

Elms occur often in pastoral poetry, where they symbolise the idyllic life, their shade being mentioned as a place of special coolness and peace. In the first Idyll of Theocritus (3rd century BC), for example, the goat-herd invites the shepherd to sit "here beneath the elm" ("δεῦρ' ὑπὸ τὰν πτελέαν") and sing. Beside elms Theocritus places "the sacred water" ("το ἱερὸν ὕδωρ") of the Springs of the Nymphs and the shrines to the nymphs.[61]

The Sibyl of Cumae Leading Aeneas to the Underworld
The Sibyl and Aeneas

Aside from references literal and metaphorical to the elm and vine theme, the tree occurs in Latin literature in the Elm of Dreams in the Aeneid.[62] When the Sibyl of Cumae leads Aeneas down to the Underworld, one of the sights is the Stygian Elm:

In medio ramos annosaque bracchia pandit
ulmus opaca, ingens, quam sedem somnia vulgo
uana tenere ferunt, foliisque sub omnibus haerent.
[:Spreads in the midst her boughs and agéd arms
an elm, huge, shadowy, where vain dreams, 'tis said,
are wont to roost them, under every leaf close-clinging.]

Virgil refers to a Roman superstition (vulgo) that elms were trees of ill-omen because their fruit seemed to be of no value.[63] It has been noted[64] that two elm-motifs have arisen from classical literature: (1) the 'Paradisal Elm' motif, arising from pastoral idylls and the elm-and-vine theme, and (2) the 'Elm and Death' motif, perhaps arising from Homer's commemorative elms and Virgil's Stygian Elm. Many references to elm in European literature from the Renaissance onwards fit into one or other of these categories.

There are two examples of pteleogenesis (:birth from elms) in world myths. In Germanic and Scandinavian mythology the first woman, Embla, was fashioned from an elm,[65] while in Japanese mythology Kamuy Fuchi, the chief goddess of the Ainu people, "was born from an elm impregnated by the Possessor of the Heavens".[66]

English Elm Preston Park Brighton
Under the elm, Brighton, 2006

The elm occurs frequently in English literature, one of the best known instances being in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, where Titania, Queen of the Fairies, addresses her beloved Nick Bottom using an elm-simile. Here, as often in the elm-and-vine motif, the elm is a masculine symbol:

Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.
... the female Ivy so
Enrings the barky fingers of the Elm.
O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee![67]

Another of the most famous kisses in English literature, that of Paul and Helen at the start of Forster's Howards End, is stolen beneath a great wych elm.

The elm tree is also referenced in children's literature. An Elm Tree and Three Sisters by Norma Sommerdorf is a children's book about three young sisters that plant a small elm tree in their backyard.[68]

In politics

The cutting of the elm was a diplomatic altercation between the Kings of France and England in 1188, during which an elm tree near Gisors in Normandy was felled.

In politics the elm is associated with revolutions. In England after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the final victory of parliamentarians over monarchists, and the arrival from Holland, with William III and Mary II, of the 'Dutch Elm' hybrid, planting of this cultivar became a fashion among enthusiasts of the new political order.[69][70]

In the American Revolution 'The Liberty Tree' was an American white elm in Boston, Massachusetts, in front of which, from 1765, the first resistance meetings were held against British attempts to tax the American colonists without democratic representation. When the British, knowing that the tree was a symbol of rebellion, felled it in 1775, the Americans took to widespread 'Liberty Elm' planting, and sewed elm symbols on to their revolutionary flags.[71][72] Elm-planting by American Presidents later became something of a tradition.

In the French Revolution, too, Les arbres de la liberté (:Liberty Trees), often elms, were planted as symbols of revolutionary hopes, the first in Vienne, Isère, in 1790, by a priest inspired by the Boston elm.[71] L'Orme de La Madeleine (:the Elm of La Madeleine), Faycelles, Département de Lot, planted around 1790 and surviving to this day, was a case in point.[73] By contrast, a famous Parisian elm associated with the Ancien Régime, L'Orme de Saint-Gervais in the Place St-Gervais, was felled by the revolutionaries; church authorities planted a new elm in its place in 1846, and an early 20th-century elm stands on the site today.[74] Premier Lionel Jospin, obliged by tradition to plant a tree in the garden of the Hôtel Matignon, the official residence and workplace of Prime Ministers of France, insisted on planting an elm, so-called 'tree of the Left', choosing the new disease-resistant hybrid 'Clone 762' (Ulmus 'Wanoux' = Vada).[75] In the French Republican Calendar, in use from 1792 to 1806, the 12th day of the month Ventôse (= 2 March) was officially named "jour de l'Orme", Day of the Elm.

Liberty Elms were also planted in other countries in Europe to celebrate their revolutions, an example being L'Olmo di Montepaone, L'Albero della Libertà (:the Elm of Montepaone, Liberty Tree) in Montepaone, Calabria, planted in 1799 to commemorate the founding of the democratic Parthenopean Republic, and surviving till it was brought down by a recent storm (it has since been cloned and 'replanted').[76] After the Greek Revolution of 1821-32, a thousand young elms were brought to Athens from Missolonghi, "Sacred City of the Struggle" against the Turks and scene of Lord Byron's death, and planted in 1839-40 in the National Garden.[77][78] In an ironic development, feral elms have spread and invaded the grounds of the abandoned Greek royal summer palace at Tatoi in Attica.

In a chance event linking elms and revolution, on the morning of his execution (30 January 1649), walking to the scaffold at the Palace of Whitehall, King Charles I turned to his guards and pointed out, with evident emotion, an elm near the entrance to Spring Gardens that had been planted by his brother in happier days. The tree was said to be still standing in the 1860s.[79]


Planting a Liberty Tree (un arbre de la liberté) during the French Revolution. Jean-Baptiste Lesueur, 1790

Balcony St-Gervais

Balcony with elm symbol, overlooking the 'Crossroads of the Elm', Place Saint-Gervais, Paris[74]

President George W. Bush and Laura Bush take part in the planting of three elm trees

President George W. Bush and Laura Bush planting a disease-resistant 'Jefferson' Elm before the White House, 2006


Elm suckers spreading before the abandoned summer royal palace in Tatoi, Greece, Μarch 2008

In local history and place names

The name of what is now the London neighborhood of Seven Sisters is derived from seven elms which stood there at the time when it was a rural area, planted a circle with a walnut tree at their centre, and traceable on maps back to 1619.[80][81]


White Elm rooted cutting
A rooted cutting of European White Elm (July)

Elm propagation methods vary according to elm type and location, and the plantsman's needs. Native species may be propagated by seed. In their natural setting native species, such as wych elm and European White Elm in central and northern Europe and Field Elm in southern Europe, set viable seed in ‘favourable' seasons. Optimal conditions occur after a late warm spring.[1] After pollination, seeds of spring-flowering elms ripen and fall at the start of summer (June); they remain viable for only a few days. They are planted in sandy potting-soil at a depth of one centimetre, and germinate in three weeks. Slow-germinating American Elm will remain dormant until the second season.[82] Seeds from autumn-flowering elms ripen in the Fall and germinate in the spring.[82] Since elms may hybridize within and between species, seed-propagation entails a hybridisation risk. In unfavourable seasons elm seeds are usually sterile. Elms outside their natural range, such as Ulmus procera in England, and elms unable to pollinate because pollen-sources are genetically identical, are sterile and are propagated by vegetative reproduction. Vegetative reproduction is also used to produce genetically identical elms (clones). Methods include the winter transplanting of root-suckers; taking hardwood cuttings from vigorous one-year-old shoots in late winter,[83] taking root-cuttings in early spring; taking softwood cuttings in early summer;[84] grafting; ground and air layering; and micropropagation. A bottom heat of 18 degrees[85] and humid conditions are maintained for hard- and softwood cuttings. The transplanting of root-suckers remains the easiest and commonest propagation-method for European Field Elm and its hybrids. For 'specimen' urban elms, grafting to wych-elm root-stock may be used to eliminate suckering or to ensure stronger root-growth. The mutant-elm cultivars are usually grafted, the ‘weeping' elms 'Camperdown' and 'Horizontalis' at 2–3 m (6 ft 7 in–9 ft 10 in), the dwarf cultivars 'Nana' and 'Jacqueline Hillier' at ground level. Since the Siberian Elm is drought-tolerant, in dry countries new varieties of elm are often root-grafted on this species.[86]

Ulmus minor MHNT.BOT.2010.12.3

Ripe seeds of Field Elm

Rock Elm seedling

Rock elm Ulmus thomasii germinating

Klijavac ulmus glabra goc 0427

Seedling of wych elm Ulmus glabra (photograph: Mihailo Grbić)

Ulmus minor 14

Root-suckers spreading from Field Elm Ulmus minor

Root cuttings of Ulmus 'Dodoens'

Root cuttings of Ulmus 'Dodoens' (photograph: Mihailo Grbić)

Elm clone rooted hardwood cutting Faculty of Forestry Belgrade 1983.09.01

Rooted hardwood elm-cutting (photograph: Mihailo Grbić)

Rooting of softwood cuttings of elm under the mist propagation system

Rooting of softwood elm-cuttings under mist-propagation system (photograph: Mihailo Grbić)

Ulmus campestris 'ARGENTEOVARIEGATA'

Mutant variegated Smooth-leafed Elm graft (photograph: Mihailo Grbić)

Air layering of Ulmus pumila Faculty of Forestry Belgrade 7.6.1986

Air layering of U. pumila (photograph: Mihailo Grbić)

Organisms associated with elm

20130702Ulme Saarbruecken1

'Pouch' leaf-galls on a wych elm (aphid Tetraneura ulmi), Germany.

Tetraneura ulmi (Aphididae sp.) gall, Elst (Gld), the Netherlands

'Pouch' leaf-gall on elm leaf (aphid Tetraneura ulmi), Netherlands.

Colopha compressa 1 beentree

'Cockscomb' leaf-galls (aphid Colopha compressa), Poland.

Eriosoma lanuginosum 1

'Bladder' leaf-galls on elm leaves (aphid Eriosoma lanuginosum), Italy.

Eriosoma lanuginosum 2

'Bladder' leaf-galls on a narrow-leaved elm (aphid Eriosoma lanuginosum), Italy.

Colopha compressa 4 beentree

Aphids in leaf-gall, Poland.


'Pimple' leaf-galls on a field elm (mite Eriophyes ulmi), Spain.

WLH Julita

White-letter Hairstreak Satyrium w-album, on Lutece, Sweden. The larvae feed only on elm.

Satyrium w-album egg1

Egg of Satyrium w-album near flower-bud of an elm.

01a Scolytus multistriatus Imago 20fach rechte Seite

Elm-bark beetle Scolytus multistriatus (size: 2–3 mm), a vector for Dutch Elm Disease

04 Scolytus multistriatus Fraßbild

Scolytus multistriatus 'galleries' under elm-bark.

Xanthogaleruca luteola 1

Elm-leaf beetle Xanthogaleruca luteola, which causes serious damage to elm foliage.

Xanthogaleruca luteola 20060905 525 part

Xanthogaleruca luteola: caterpillar on elm-leaf, Germany.

Xanthogaleruca luteola 20060905 530

Elm-leaf damage caused by Xanthogaleruca luteola, Germany.

Slime flux on Camperdown elm

Bacterial infection Erwinia carotovora of elm sap, which causes 'slime flux' ('wetwood') and staining of the trunk (here on a Camperdown Elm).

See also


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  • Richens, R. H. (1983). Elm. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-24916-3 A scientific, historical and cultural study, with a thesis on elm-classification, followed by a systematic survey of elms in England, region by region. Illustrated.
  • Heybroek, H. M., Goudzwaard, L, Kaljee, H. (2009). Iep of olm, karakterboom van de Lage Landen (:Elm, a tree with character of the Low Countries). KNNV, Uitgeverij. ISBN 9789050112819. A history of elm planting in the Netherlands, concluding with a 40 – page illustrated review of all the DED – resistant cultivars in commerce in 2009.

Further reading

  • Clouston, B.; Stansfield, K., eds. (1979). After the Elm. London: Heinemann. ISBN 0-434-13900-9 A general introduction, with a history of Dutch elm disease and proposals for re-landscaping in the aftermath of the pandemic. Illustrated.
  • Coleman, M., ed. (2009). Wych Elm. Edinburgh. ISBN 978-1-906129-21-7 A study of the species, with particular reference to the wych elm in Scotland and its use by craftsmen.
  • Dunn, Christopher P. (2000). The Elms: Breeding, Conservation, and Disease-Management. New York: Boston, Mass. Kluwer academic. ISBN 0-7923-7724-9
  • Wilkinson, G. (1978). Epitaph for the Elm. London: Hutchinson. ISBN 0-09-921280-3 A photographic and pictorial celebration and general introduction.

External links

A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American supernatural slasher film written and directed by Wes Craven, and produced by Robert Shaye. It is the first installment of a series and stars Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Amanda Wyss, Jsu Garcia, Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger, and Johnny Depp in his film debut. The plot concerns four teenagers living on one street in the fictitious town of Springwood, Ohio, who are invaded and killed in their dreams, and thus killed in reality, by a burnt killer with a bladed leather glove.

Craven filmed A Nightmare on Elm Street on an estimated budget of $1.8 million, a sum the film earned back during its first week. The film was released on November 9, 1984, where it went on to gross over $25 million at the United States box office. A Nightmare on Elm Street was met with rave critical reviews and is considered to be one of the greatest horror films ever made, spawning a franchise consisting of a line of sequels, a television series, a crossover with Friday the 13th, and various other works of imitation. A remake of the same name was released in 2010.The film is credited with using many of the tropes found in the low-budget horror films of the 1970s and 1980s that originated with John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) and led this subgenre to be called the slasher film. The film includes a morality play where sexually promiscuous teenagers are killed. Critics and film historians state that the film's premise is the struggle to define the distinction between dreams and reality, manifested by the lives and dreams of the teens in the film. Critics today praise the film's ability to transgress "the boundaries between the imaginary and real", toying with audience perceptions.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010 film)

A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 2010 American slasher film directed by Samuel Bayer, and written by Wesley Strick and Eric Heisserer. The film stars Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, and Kellan Lutz. It is a remake of Wes Craven's 1984 film of the same name. Produced by Michael Bay and Platinum Dunes, the film was designed to reboot the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and is the ninth film in the series. The film is set in a fictitious town of Ohio and centers around a group of teenagers living on one street who are stalked and murdered in their dreams by a disfigured man named Freddy Krueger. The teenagers discover that they all share a common link from their childhood that makes them targets for Krueger.

A Nightmare on Elm Street was originally to follow the same design as Platinum Dunes' other remake, Friday the 13th, where the writers took the best elements from each of the films in the original series and created a single storyline with them. Eventually, they decided to use Craven's original storyline but tried to create a scarier film. To that end, they decided to remove the one-line quipping Freddy, who had become less scary and more comical over the years, and bring back his darker nature. The writers developed the character to be a child molester, something that Craven wanted to do originally in 1984 but changed to a child killer instead. Freddy's physical appearance was changed with the use of computer-generated imagery to be closer to that of a burn victim. Because of the positive experiences Platinum Dunes' producers had in the area, A Nightmare on Elm Street was filmed primarily in Illinois.

Craven expressed his displeasure when he was not consulted on the project. Robert Englund, who portrayed Freddy in the previous eight films, voiced his support of the remake and the casting of Haley in the role of Freddy. A Nightmare on Elm Street was officially released in North America on April 30, 2010, and later released in foreign markets on May 8, 2010. The film was met with negative reviews from both film critics and audience members. Regardless, A Nightmare on Elm Street broke the record for midnight openings for a horror film and grossed more in its opening weekend than the total gross of four other Nightmare on Elm Street films. The film earned over $63 million at the domestic box office and over $115 million worldwide.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (franchise)

A Nightmare on Elm Street is an American horror franchise that consists of nine slasher films, a television series, novels, and comic books. The films began with the film A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) created by Wes Craven. The series revolves around the fictional character Freddy Krueger, a former child killer who after being burned alive by the vengeful parents of his victims, returns from the grave to terrorize and kill the teenage residents of Springwood, Ohio in their dreams. The original film was written and directed by Craven, who returned to co-script the second sequel, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), and to write and direct New Nightmare (1994). The films collectively grossed over $457 million at the box-office worldwide.

The original film was released in 1984. A series of sequels produced by the independent film company New Line Cinema followed. New Line often attributes the growth of their company to the success of the Nightmare series. The film series as a whole has received mixed reviews by critics, but has been a financial success at the box office. When comparing the United States box office grosses of other American horror film series, A Nightmare on Elm Street is the second highest grossing series in adjusted US dollars. In 1988, a television series was produced with Freddy as the host. The pilot episode focused on the night Freddy was burned alive by the angry parents of the children he had killed, though the rest of the series featured episodes with independent plots. Twelve novels, separate from the adaptations of the films, and multiple comic book series were published featuring Freddy Krueger, as well as a crossover film featuring fellow horror icon Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th franchise. A remake of the 1984 film was released in 2010, and a second remake is planned.

Dutch elm disease

Dutch elm disease (DED) is caused by a member of the sac fungi (Ascomycota) affecting elm trees, and is spread by elm bark beetles. Although believed to be originally native to Asia, the disease was accidentally introduced into America and Europe, where it has devastated native populations of elms that did not have resistance to the disease. It has also reached New Zealand. The name "Dutch elm disease" refers to its identification in 1921 and later in the Netherlands by Dutch phytopathologists Bea Schwarz and Christine Buisman who both worked with Professor Johanna Westerdijk. The disease affects species in the genera Ulmus and Zelkova, therefore it is not specific to the Dutch elm hybrid.

Freddy Krueger

Frederick Charles "Freddy" Krueger () is a character from the A Nightmare on Elm Street film series. He first appeared in Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) as a burnt serial killer who uses a gloved hand with razors to kill his victims in their dreams, causing their deaths in the real world as well. In the dream world, he is a powerful force and almost completely invulnerable. However, whenever Freddy is pulled into the real world, he has normal human vulnerabilities.

The character was created by Wes Craven and was consistently portrayed by Robert Englund in the original film series as well as in the television spin-off. In the 2010 franchise reboot, Freddy Krueger was portrayed by Jackie Earle Haley. In 2011, Freddy appeared as a playable character in the video game Mortal Kombat. Over the course of the series, Freddy has battled numerous survivors including Nancy Thompson.In the film Freddy vs. Jason and the Nightmares on Elm Street comics, an alias is used, namely "the Springwood Slasher".Freddy attacks his victims from within their dreams. He is commonly identified by his burned, disfigured face, red-and-green striped sweater, brown fedora, and trademark metal-clawed brown leather glove only on his right hand. This glove was the product of Krueger's own imagination, the blades having been welded by himself. Robert Englund has said many times that he feels the character represents neglect, particularly that suffered by children. The character also more broadly represents subconscious fears.

Wizard magazine rated Freddy the 14th greatest villain, the British television channel Sky2 listed him 8th, and the American Film Institute ranked him 40th on its "AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains" list. In 2010, Freddy won an award for Best Villain (formerly Most Vile Villain) at the Scream Awards.

Ulmus 'Clusius'

Ulmus 'Clusius' is a Dutch hybrid elm cultivar raised at Wageningen and released to commerce in 1983. 'Clusius' was derived from a crossing of the same Dutch clones that produced the fastigiate 'Lobel' released in 1973: '202' ('Exoniensis' × U. wallichiana) and '336' ('Bea Schwarz' selfed).

Ulmus americana

Ulmus americana, generally known as the American elm or, less commonly, as the white elm or water elm, is a species native to eastern North America, naturally occurring from Nova Scotia west to Alberta and Montana, and south to Florida and central Texas. The American elm is an extremely hardy tree that can withstand winter temperatures as low as −42 °C (−44 °F). Trees in areas unaffected by Dutch elm disease can live for several hundred years. A prime example of the species was the Sauble Elm, which grew beside the banks of the Sauble River in Ontario, Canada, to a height of 43 m (140 ft), with a d.b.h of 196 cm (6.43 ft) before succumbing to Dutch elm disease; when it was felled in 1968, a tree-ring count established that it had germinated in 1701.

For over 80 years, U. americana had been identified as a tetraploid, i.e. having double the usual number of chromosomes, making it unique within the genus. However, a study published in 2011 by the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA revealed that about 20% of wild American elms are diploid and may even constitute another species. Moreover, several triploid trees known only in cultivation, such as 'Jefferson', are possessed of a high degree of resistance to Dutch elm disease, which ravaged American elms in the 20th century. This suggests that the diploid parent trees, which have markedly smaller cells than the tetraploid, may too be highly resistant to the disease.

Ulmus castaneifolia

Ulmus castaneifolia Hemsley, the chestnut-leafed elm or multinerved elm, is a small deciduous tree found across much of China in broadleaved forests at elevations of 500–1,600 metres (1,600–5,200 ft).

Ulmus glabra

Ulmus glabra, the wych elm, Scotch elm or Scots elm, has the widest range of the European elm species, from Ireland eastwards to the Urals, and from the Arctic Circle south to the mountains of the Peloponnese in Greece; it is also found in Iran. A large, deciduous tree, it is essentially a montane species, growing at elevations of up to 1500 m, preferring sites with moist soils and high humidity. The tree can form pure forests in Scandinavia and occurs as far north as latitude 67°N at Beiarn in Norway. Wych elm has also been successfully introduced to Narsarsuaq, near the southern tip of Greenland (61°N).

The tree was by far the most common elm in the north and west of the British Isles and is now acknowledged as the only indisputably British native elm species. Owing to its former abundance in Scotland, the tree is occasionally known as the Scotch or Scots elm; Loch Lomond said to be a corruption of the Gaelic Lac Leaman interpreted by some as 'Lake of the Elms', 'leaman' being the plural form of leam or lem, 'elm'. However, this is contested, the correct Gaelic name considered Loch Laomainn, its origin obscure.Closely related species, such as Bergmann's elm U. bergmanniana and Manchurian elm U. laciniata, native to northeast Asia, were once sometimes included in Ulmus glabra; another close relative is the Himalayan or Kashmir elm U. wallichiana. Conversely, Ulmus elliptica Koch from the Caucasus, considered a species by some authorities, is often listed as a regional form of U. glabra.

Ulmus minor 'Atinia Variegata'

The Field Elm cultivar Ulmus minor 'Atinia Variegata', the Variegated-leaved common English Elm, formerly known as U. procera 'Argenteo-Variegata' and described by Weston (1770) as U. campestris argenteo-variegata, is believed to have originated in England in the seventeenth century and to have been cultivated since the eighteenth. The Oxford botanist Robert Plot mentioned in a 1677 Flora a variegated elm in Dorset, where English Elm is the common field elm. Elwes and Henry (1913) had no doubt that the cultivar was of English origin, "as it agrees with the English Elm in all its essential characters". At the Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa, the tree was listed as U. procera 'Marginata', as the variegation is sometimes most obvious on leaf-margins.Variegated English elm is not to be confused with the more common Field Elm cultivar U. minor 'Argenteo-Variegata', also known as U. minor 'Variegata', the Silver Elm or Tartan Elm, which has similar markings but narrower leaves.

Ulmus minor 'Laciniata'

The Field Elm cultivar Ulmus minor 'Laciniata' was listed by Wesmael [1] in Bulletin de la Fédération des sociétés d'horticulture de Belgique 1862: 390 1863 as Ulmus campestris var. nuda subvar. microphylla laciniata Hort. Vilv..

Ulmus minor 'Plotii'

The Field Elm cultivar Ulmus minor 'Plotii', commonly known as Lock Elm or Lock's Elm (its vernacular names), Plot's Elm or Plot Elm, and first classified as Ulmus sativa Mill. var. Lockii and later as Ulmus plotii by Druce in 1907-11 (see 'Etymology'), is endemic mainly to the East Midlands of England, notably around the River Witham in Lincolnshire and in the Trent Valley around Newark on Trent, in the village of Laxton, Northamptonshire. Two further populations existed in Gloucestershire. It has been described as Britain's rarest native elm, and recorded by The Wildlife Trust as a nationally scarce species.As with other members of the Field Elm group, the taxonomy of Plot Elm has been a matter of contention, several authorities, notably Professor Clive A. Stace in New Flora of the British Isles (2010), recognizing it as a species in its own right. Indeed, it is as U. plotii Druce that the specimens held by the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and Wakehurst Place are listed. R. H. Richens, however, contended (1983) that it is simply one of the more distinctive clones of the polymorphous Ulmus minor, conjecturing that it arose as an U. minor sport and that its incidence in the English Midlands may have been linked to its use as a distinctive marker along Drovers' roads, whereas Ronald Melville suggested the tree's distribution may be related to (river) valley systems. After Richens had challenged the species hypothesis, the tree was the subject of a study at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh by Dr Max Coleman (2000), which showed that trees a perfect fit with the 'type' material of Plot elm were of a single clone (genetically identical to each other). Arguing in a 2002 paper that there was no clear distinction between species and subspecies, and suggesting that known or suspected clones of U. minor, once cultivated and named, should be treated as cultivars, Coleman preferred the designation U. minor 'Plotii'.Alfred Rehder considered Ulmus Plotii Druce to be synoymous with Jonathan Stokes' Ulmus surculosa argutifolia which was located at Furnace Mill near North Wingfield, Derbyshire, before 1812.Augustine Henry, though he equated the elm with Druce's, miscalled it Goodyer's Elm, (U. minor 'Goodyeri'). The trees John Goodyer discovered were near the south coast at Pennington, Hampshire, some 200 miles away from centre of distribution of 'Plotii' and very dissimilar in structure.

Ulmus minor 'Purpurea'

The Purple-leafed Jersey or Guernsey Elm Ulmus minor 'Purpurea' now appears to be confined to Australia.

Ulmus parvifolia

Ulmus parvifolia, commonly known as the Chinese elm or lacebark elm, is a species native to eastern Asia, including China, India, Taiwan, Japan, North Korea, and Vietnam. It has been described as "one of the most splendid elms, having the poise of a graceful Nothofagus".The tree was introduced to the UK in 1794 by James Main, who collected in China for Gilbert Slater of Low Layton, Essex.

Ulmus pumila

Ulmus pumila, the Siberian elm, is a tree native to Central Asia, eastern Siberia, the Russian Far East, Mongolia, Tibet, northern China, India (northern Kashmir) and Korea. It is also known as the Asiatic elm and dwarf elm, but sometimes miscalled the 'Chinese Elm' (Ulmus parvifolia). It is the last tree species encountered in the semi-desert regions of central Asia. Described by Pallas in the 18th century from specimens from Transbaikal, Ulmus pumila has been widely cultivated throughout Asia, North America, Argentina, and southern Europe, becoming naturalized in many places, notably across much of the United States.

Ulmus rubra

Ulmus rubra, the slippery elm, is a species of elm native to eastern North America, ranging from southeast North Dakota, east to Maine and southern Quebec, south to northernmost Florida, and west to eastern Texas, where it thrives in moist uplands, although it will also grow in dry, intermediate soils.

Other common names include red elm, gray elm, soft elm, moose elm, and Indian elm. The tree was first named as part of Ulmus americana in 1753, but identified as a separate species, Ulmus rubra, in 1793 by Pennsylvania botanist Gotthilf Muhlenberg. The slightly later name U. fulva, published by French botanist André Michaux in 1803, is still widely used in dietary-supplement and alternative-medicine information.

The species superficially resembles American elm (U. americana), but is more closely related to the European wych elm (U. glabra), which has a very similar flower structure, though lacks the pubescence over the seed. U. rubra was introduced to Europe in 1830.

Ulmus villosa

Ulmus villosa Brandis ex Gamble (:'soft-haired', the flower), the cherry-bark elm or Marn elm, is one of the more distinctive Asiatic elms, and a species capable of remarkable longevity. It is endemic to the valleys of the Kashmir at elevations of 1200–2500 m but has become increasingly rare owing to its popularity as cattle fodder, and mature trees are now largely restricted to temples and shrines where they are treated as sacred. Some of these trees are believed to be aged over 800 years.

Ulmus × hollandica 'Smithii'

The hybrid elm cultivar Ulmus × hollandica 'Smithii', commonly known as the Downton Elm, was one of a number of cultivars arising from the crossing of the Wych Elm U. glabra with the Field Elm U. minor. The tree was originally planted at Downton Castle near Ludlow, as one of a batch, not all of them pendulous in habit, raised at Smith's Nursery, Worcester, England, from seeds obtained from a tree in Nottingham in 1810.'Smithii' or 'Downton Elm' is absent from Smith's 1887–88 catalogue, which contains 23 elms, unless it is one listed as 'Weeping English Elm'.

Ulmus × hollandica 'Vegeta'

Ulmus × hollandica 'Vegeta', sometimes known as the Huntingdon Elm, is an old English hybrid cultivar raised at Brampton, near Huntingdon, by nurserymen Wood & Ingram in 1746, allegedly from seed collected from an Ulmus × hollandica hybrid at nearby Hinchingbrooke Park. The tree was given the epithet 'Vegeta' by Loudon, a name previously accorded the Chichester Elm by Donn, as Loudon considered the two trees identical. The latter is indeed a similar cultivar, but raised much earlier in the 18th century from a tree growing at Chichester Hall, Rawreth in Essex.

Elm species, varieties, hybrids, hybrid cultivars and species cultivars
Species, varieties and subspecies
Disputed species and varieties
Species cultivars
Hybrid cultivars
Unconfirmed derivation cultivars
Fossil elms

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