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American elm

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  • Native Plants,
  • Trees and Shrubs
American elm (Ulmus americana)
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Richard Lavertue)

Onglets

Botany

Origin and description

Elm trees have played an important role in southern Quebec, where they have always been associated with the landscape of the countryside, and with villages and cities as well. It is a tall bare-trunked tree up to 40 m. in height, forming a large parasol at maturity. Its foliage is dense, with leaves that are ovate, rough and dark green turning yellow in autumn.

Common name

American elm

Latin name (genus)

Ulmus americana

French common name

Botanical family

  • Ulmaceae
Horticulture

Easy to grow?

Unfortunately, this beautiful tree has been attacked by a fungus and an insect. This is Dutch elm disease, for which we have few remedies.

Use

A tall majestic tree, the American elm was often used in large, open spaces and to line streets, until Dutch elm disease began to take its toll. Since that time, this tree has become an economic burden, with a few thousand trees having to be cut down in Montreal every year. As this disease is incurable at the moment, use of this species is inadvisable, especially since there is no truly effective preventive treatment. Some cultivars, certain of them more resistant to the ailment, are derived from this species.

Hardiness

  • Zone 2
Pests and diseases

Dutch elm disease

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