American Elm

Ulmus americana


Other Names:
White Elm, Water Elm

The American Elm is a native tree found through most of Virginia. It is popular with numerous birds, both as a food source and as a nesting site. The wood is heavy, hard, and strong, but it lacks durability and has a tendency to warp; it has been used to make furniture, flooring, crates, hockey sticks, and coffins. The American Elm has been ravaged by Dutch Elm Disease (DED), a fungal disease that causes catastrophic die-offs. One species of native elm bark beetles and two invasive elm bark beetles attack the bark. These beetles can kill some trees that are already weakened, but their much larger impact is that they carry and spread the deadly DED fungus. The disease is thought to have originated in Asia; it got its name because it was identified by researchers in the Netherlands. Various hybrids have been bred to be resistant to DED.

Identification Tools

Go Botany Illinois Wildflowers NC State Extention


North America Virginia

American Elm leaves
Leaves of an American Elm

American Elm bark
Bark of an American Elm

American Elm seeds
American Elm seed clusters

American Elm seeds
American Elm seeds have a notch at their tips

American Elm seed
A closer view of an American Elm seed, with the notch at upper center

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