English elm (Ulmus procera) is a large deciduous tree. The bark is grey brown, rough and fissured, often with suckers growing from the base of the trunk. Leaves have 10-12 vein pairs. They are round to oval, toothed with a rough, hairy surface. They have a characteristic asymmetrical base and taper to a sudden point at the top. Flowers hang in tassels, appearing in early spring before the leaves are on the tree. This tree is common to Britain and Europe where it spreads by suckering, giving rise to distinctive local clones. The tree was introduced in the United States prior to 1752 and planted on the Boston Commons in 1780. Before metal was widely available, many towns had water mains supplied from pipes made from elm wood. In the 1970ties millions of trees in Western Europe and North America were eradicated by the Dutch Elm disease named as such because two scientists from the Netherlands identified the pathogen. Preventive inoculation of healthy trees and the successful breeding of fungus-resistant cultivars (an example is the Princeton Elm) has rapidly increased the elm population again.
Common name: Smooth-Leave Elm, Field Elm, English Elm, Narrowleaf Elm, Hedgerow Elm, European Field Elm, Smoothleaf Elm
Scientific Name (family and order): Ulmus minor (Ulmaceae, Rosales)
Species Origin: Europe and North Africa
New Jersey Status: USDA Not listed
Habit: Large Tree 80’ tall. Straight trunk with ascending branchess giving a pyramidal shape.
Habitat: Zones 5 – 7
Trunk/Stem: Stem brown, slightly pubescent; bark of older branches ashy-gray.
Leaves: Deciduous, Simple, Alternate. Leaves elliptical to ovate to obovate 4” long x 1 -2” wide; tip acuminate, ovate to obovate, lobes asymmetric; serrate margins; 12 pairs of pinnate veins; adaxial blade glabrous dark green lustrous; abaxial surface pubescent.
Flowers: Monoecious. 4 -5 merous, petals absent, wind pollinated. Flowers drooping on long pedicels, very early spring before leaves.
Fruits and seeds: Fruit ½” brownish circular slightly notched single winged seed.