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ULMUS pumila

Image of Ulmus pumila

Jesse Saylor

Family

Ulmaceae

Botanical Name

ULMUS pumila

Plant Common Name

Siberian Elm

General Description

Hardy, tough, and fast-growing, this small to medium-sized deciduous tree from northern and central Asia was once a popular choice for difficult sites. It is much less frequently used today because of its undistinguished appearance, weak wood, and weedy nature. Of variable habit, it bears small, oval, dark green leaves on upright to spreading branches. The disease-resistant leaves persist late into fall, dropping while still green. Inconspicuous early spring flowers are quickly followed by masses of round papery seeds, which scatter and germinate over a wide area. This tree is notorious for losing branches to wind and winter precipitation.

This sun-loving tree grows well in most soils and tolerates high pH, bitter cold, and moderate to severe drought. It is also resistant to Dutch elm disease. In its best forms, such as 'Dropmore' and 'Park Royal,' it makes a good choice for areas with climates too harsh for most other trees. It can also be used for bonsai. It is listed as an invasive plant in many regions.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    2 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Fissured

  • Usage

    Shade Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes