University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension - Selecting Trees for Your Home
http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/treeselector
American Elm
Ulmus americana
American Elm in Spring
Size:

Small

Medium
Size: large
Large
Exposure/ Light Requirements:
Full Shade not required.
Full Shade
Full Sun required.
Full Sun
Partial Sun/Shade not required.
Partial Sun/Shade
Pests and Problems:

Environmental Damage

Fungal Disease

Insect Damage

Phytoplasma Disease


Numerous problems. The most serious is Dutch Elm Disease which has seriously limited the use of this species (see cultivars for improved selections). Also affected by elm yellows, phloem necrosis, verticillium wilt; elm leaf beetle and elm leaf miner.
Hardiness Zone: 3 - 9 
[Find Your Zone]
Mature Height: 60-80 Feet
Features: Autumn foliage is yellow.
Culture: Full sun; moist, well drained soils. This tree can tolerate wet sites and a range of soil pH.
Cultivars:

Dutch Elm Disease has seriously compromised the use of this species in North America. The following list includes cultivars of Ulmus americana and hybrids of various elm speices. The trees on this list show moderate to high levels of resistance to Dutch Elm Disease.

American Elm (Ulmus americana) cultivars:

  • 'American Liberty'- vase-shaped; also resistant to elm leaf beetle.
  • 'Delaware'- also resistant to elm leaf beetle.
  • 'Independence'- vase-shaped; also resistant to elm leaf beetle.
  • 'New Harmony'- vase-shaped; also resistant to elm leaf beetle.
  • 'Princeton'
  • 'Valley Forge'- vase-shaped; also resistant to elm leaf beetle.

Elm hybrids:

  • 'Accolade'- a cross of Ulmus japonica and Ulmus wilsoniana; vase-shaped; also resistant to elm leaf beetle.
  • 'Cathedral'- a cross of Ulmus pumila and Ulmus japonica; vase-shaped.
  • 'Danada'- a cross of Ulmus japonica and Ulmus wilsoniana; vase-shaped.
  • 'Frontier' - a cross of Ulmuscarpinifolia and Ulmus parvifolia; pyramidal shape; also resistant to elm leaf beetle.
  • 'Homestead' - multispecies hybrid, vase shapes, hardy only to zone 5.
  • 'New Horizon' - a cross of Ulmus japonica and Ulmus pumila.
  • 'Patriot' - cross between 'Urban' and 'Prospector'; must be pruned to obtain a vase shape; hardy to zone 4; resistant to elm leaf beetle.
  • 'Pioneer'- cross between Ulmus glabra and Ulmus carpinifolia; broad, spreading habit; hardy to zone 5.
  • 'Regal' - complex hybrid; pyramidal shape; hardy to zone 4.
  • 'Sapporo Autumn Gold' - cross between Ulmus pumila and Ulmus japonica; vase shaped; hardy to zone 4.
  • 'Triumph' -cross between 'Accolade' and 'Vanguard'
  • 'Urban' -pyramidal shape.
  • 'Vanguard'-cross between Ulmus japonica and Ulmus pumila
Mature Form: The species is distinctly vase shaped. Some of the hybrids replacing the species are vase shaped and others are not.
Native To: United States (Illinois)
Soil Conditions:
Dry
Soil condition: Moist, Well-DrainedMoist, Well-Drained
Soil condition: WetWet
Tolerance:
Tolerance: Alkaline SoilAlkaline Soil
Dry Sites
Salt
Soil Compaction
Tolerance: Wet SitesWet Sites
Wind
Uses:
Massing
Patio
Screen
Use for: Shade.Shade
Specimen
Use for: Street.Street
Wind Break
Foliage Color: Green
 
Fall Foliage Color: Yellow
 
Additional Notes: The actual species is seldom used due to susceptibility to Dutch Elm Disease. See the cultivar section for other choices.

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