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An individual instance of Ulmus americana (American elm)
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This tree grows quickly when young to form a broad, upright, vase-shape. American Elms can grow 80 to 100 feet high and 60 to 120 feet wide. Trunks on older trees historically reached seven feet across.  The leaves are alternate and simple.  Their margins are double serrate, with the shape of the leaf being oblong and ovate.  The venation on the leaf is pinnate. The leaves are approximately six inches long and are dark green until autumn, when they turn yellow and begin to fall.  In the early spring before the leaves appear, small green flowers appear on the stalks.  The seedpods which soon form are green and round and approximately 0.5-1.0 inch long. Trees must be at least fifteen years old before they can bear seed, but bear seeds prolifically afterwards.    


American Elm trees were once a very popular and long-lived (>300 years) ornamental tree.  They were widely planted for shade and as a street tree because of their tolerance for urban conditions.  Unfortunately, the trees have suffered a dramatic decline after the introduction of a non-native fungus called Dutch elm disease that is spread by a bark beetle.  The wood of the American Elm is quite hard, which made it a valuable timber tree.  It was used for lumber, furniture, and veneer.  Historically, many Native American tribes made canoes from American Elm trunks.  Early settlers would steam the wood, to allow it to be bent to make barrels and wheel hoops.  It was also commonly used for the rockers on rocking chairs.  American Elm numbers are greatly reduced, and what wood is available now is used in the production of furniture.


Prior to its decline, the American Elm was grown successfully in urban areas where air pollution, compacted soil, drought, and poor drainage are common. In a natural setting, the American Elm grows in a variety of light conditions.  It is also tolerant of clay, loam, sand, and a wide variety of soil pH.  It also tolerates extended flooding. However, American Elm should be grown in full sun on well-drained, rich soil to avoid disease.  Any trees planted should be monitored for symptoms of Dutch elm disease.


Gilman, E.F., & Watson, D.G. (1994).  American Elm (ulmus americana) fact sheet.  Retrieved    from




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This particular organism is believed to have managed means of establishment.

This organismal entity has the scope: multicellular organism.


Ulmus americana


sec. Tennessee Flora 2014

common name: American elm
family: Ulmaceae
Identified 2016-03-13 by Patrick Phoebus


Abernathy Hall, 1719, Alumni Drive, Rutherford County, Tennessee, US
Click on these geocoordinates to load a map showing the location: 35.8447°, -86.3613°
Coordinate uncertainty about: 10 m.
Altitude: 190 m.

Location calculated as average of its images' coordinates.

Occurrences were recorded for this particular organism on the following dates:

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whole tree (or vine) - general
whole tree (or vine) - winter
whole tree (or vine) - winter
bark - unspecified
bark - of a large tree
leaf - showing orientation on twig

Tennessee Flora 2014 =

Tennessee Flora Committee, 2014. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Tennessee (editors: E. W. Chester, B. E. Wofford, J. Shaw, D. Estes, and D. H. Webb). The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN, US.

Metadata last modified: 2016-05-06T08:15:47.008-05:00
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