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Home Page | Selecting Trees for Biodiversity | Elm Family

David Elm (Ulmus davidiana)

This is one of the smaller elms. It is an Asiatic elm and as such is resistant to Dutch elm disease, elm yellows, and the feeding of the elm leaf beetle. Elms in general are urban tolerant, tolerant of wounding, and do well in a restricted root spaces. It should have very limited escape potential in the US except for disturbed sites. Urban testing in the U.S. with this tree is limited. Reduced size, disease resistance, and urban tolerance combine to make this plant one to try.

The plant has a vase-shaped habit of growth which many people find attractive. It will generally reach 30-40 feet in height. A mature tree has a 1:1 hight to width ratio (is about as wide as it is high). It is ideal for smaller lawns and planting under power lines. It will make a good substitute for callery pear, with the exception that it does not have showy flowers. This is a fairly fast growing tree. Pruning can help the plant result in a more structurally stable branching pattern. This tree seems to do well on disturbed sites. Availability of this tree is still limited, but some named varieties are now appearing.

Linders Nursery in St. Paul MN (click here) sells a variety called 'Discovery' elm.

David Elm sapling(Ulmus davidiana)

Shade Tree Home Page
T. Davis Sydnor, Ph. D. and Nick E. D'Amato
Urban Forestry Department
School of Natural Resources
The Ohio State University
2021 Coffey Road,
Columbus OH 43210
(614) 292-3865