American Elm

American elm tree shades house.

American Elm Deciduous

Ulmus americana
Origin:

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. 

Map with pinpoint icon

Where To Grow

Varieties resistant to Dutch elm disease can be planted throughout the state. As with all trees, its success is determined by the soil type, amount of available moisture, and adjacent infrastructure (buildings, roads, etc.).
state outline
Suitable to plant throughout the state.
Tape Measure Icon

Size at Maturity

Tree Height Tree Spread
50-80' 50-80'
Water icon

Tree Characteristics

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

Birdhouse icon

Wildlife Benefits

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. 

Hands with plant icon

Additional Considerations

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. 

Firewood Icon

Interesting Facts

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.

Additional Images (click to enlarge)
American elm tree shades a barn in rural Nebraska.
References