elm is a medium-sized tree, up to 80 feet tall, and has either a single
or multiple trunks. Its silhouette is not as graceful as that of the American
elm (Ulmus americana), but it is still an attractive tree, with
a branching trunk and wide, flat crown. Like American elm, slippery elm
is a rapidly growing tree, tolerant of competition. It is less able to
withstand inundation than American elm, and is found less frequently in
flood prone areas. It occurs both in wet, bottomland woods and rocky, upland
Slippery or red elm is named for its inner bark, which is moist and sticky (and consequently "slippery") and red. It is distinguishable from other elms by its red, hairy buds and its rough, hairy twigs.
elm is less susceptible to Dutch Elm Disease than American elm, but just
as susceptible to elm phloem necrosis, another devastating disease that
affects the nutrient conducting tissues of the tree.
is deeply furrowed and brownish red.
are alternate and simple, pointed at the tip and doubly toothed. They are
from 4 to 7 inches long and the sand papery texture of the upper surface
and asymmetrical base distinguish slippery elm from other elms in the state.
The lower surface of the leaves can be either smooth or hairy.
appear in late winter or early spring as drooping clusters and are small,
green, and hairy.
are similar to those of American elm. They are small, flat, winged and
elm wood is heavy, durable, and close-grained. It is used for fence posts
and farm implements. Native Americans used various parts of the tree for
a wide range of medicines, and the ground inner bark was once used to prevent
scurvy. The inner bark is still used in the preparation of some throat