Elm, American Deciduous
Origin: Native to Nebraska
For the first hundred or so years after settlement, American
elm dominated community skylines across the state especially along streets where its tall, arching habit provided leafy
canopies for blocks at a time.
Where To Grow
Size at Maturity
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The six-inch-long, leaves are dark green throughout the year, fading to yellow in fall. In early spring, before the new leaves unfold, the rather inconspicuous, small, green flowers appear on pendulous stalks. Extra care with proper pruning must be taken with these cultivars when they are young to ensure good branching structure.
The blooms are followed by green, wafer-like seedpods which mature soon after flowering is finished, and the seeds are quite popular with both birds and wildlife.
Several disease-resistant varieties of this classic street tree are now commercially available and have been planted with success in Nebraska. These include ‘Princeton’, ‘Jefferson’, ‘Valley Forge’ and ‘New Harmony’. Tree enthusiasts may also be interested in rock elm or Japanese elm.
The loss of most American elms to Dutch elm disease in the 1960s and 70s ended the use of this tree in the landscape for most of the last
few decades. The US Dept. of Agriculture estimated that only approximately 1 in 100,000 American elm trees is Dutch elm
disease-tolerant, most known survivors simply escaped exposure to the disease.