Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Slippery Elm
Give a thumbs up Red elm

Botanical names:
Ulmus rubra Accepted
Ulmus fulva Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Mesic
Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 35 to 60 feet
Plant Spread: 30 to 50 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Edible to birds
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Erosion control
Shade Tree
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Resistances: Pollution
Flood Resistant
Drought tolerant
Pollinators: Wind
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Monoecious
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
looking up an old, large trunk

Photo gallery:
Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-08-09looking up an old, large trunk
By ILPARW
Give a thumbs up
Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2016-11-02maturing tree in autumn color
By ILPARW
Give a thumbs up
Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-10-25a second maturing tree in fall color
By ILPARW
Give a thumbs up
Location: Exton, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-08-09a full-grown tree
By ILPARW
Give a thumbs up
Location: Exton, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-08-09looking up at the crown
By ILPARW
Give a thumbs up
Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-08-09the foliage
By ILPARW
Give a thumbs up
Location: Exton, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-08-09a mature trunk
By ILPARW
Give a thumbs up
Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-06-30summer leaves
By ILPARW
Give a thumbs up
Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-06-30some mature trunks
By ILPARW
Give a thumbs up

Comments:
Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 4, 2017 8:23 PM

Slippery or Red Elm is still a very common tree. I think it has out-run the Dutch Elm Disease, as it sows itself around so fast and much and selected its own resistant progeny . It is similar to the American Elm, but does not get quite as big and it is somewhat vase-shaped or sort of rounded in form. It has larger leaves than the American Elm that are 5 to 7 inches long x 2 to 3 inches wide and they are rough to the touch, a little bit like sandpaper. The foliage gets a golden fall color that is alright. Its native range is from southwest Quebec and far southeast Ontario to southern New England down to northwest Florida to east Texas up to central Minnesota to all Michigan. Oftentimes it is weed tree in waste places, abandoned lots, and tough urban situations, but it is also a pioneer tree, being one of the first trees to colonize a open field or meadow, with Green Ash, Boxelder, Cottonwoods, and such, or grows along forest margins. It can make a fine shade tree. The inner bark, especially in twigs, contains a sticky, aromatic substance that once was chewed for sore throat relief, thus "slippery."

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Posted by jimard8 ( East Central Indiana - Zone 5b) on Aug 16, 2015 2:33 PM

This is a rather common plant here in the Great Lakes region.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Plant ID for tree weed by usernamethatno1has Jun 7, 2017 2:11 PM 7
Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) by jimard8 Aug 16, 2015 2:38 PM 11
Ulmus americana? by dave Feb 21, 2014 4:28 PM 6
Tree id needed by threegardeners Jun 7, 2012 8:07 AM 28

« Add a new plant to the database

« The Plants Database Front Page

Today's site banner is by plantmanager and is called "Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara)"