Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

American Elm
Ulmus americana

Leaves are simple, alternate, deciduous, doubly serrate, ovate, smooth to rough, up to 7 inches long and often with a greatly unequal leaf base. Twigs are red-brown and mostly hairless with black-red striped ovoid buds. Bark is gray with interlacing ridges and brown-white inner bark. Fruit is a deeply notched, round and hairy samara. The elms display a vase-shaped form. Before American elm's distribution was reduced by Dutch Elm disease, American elm was widely distributed throughout the east and central U.S. and was a well-loved shade tree. Form is up to 38 m (125 ft) in height and 1.5 m (5 ft) in diameter, with drooping branches and a forked or vase-shaped trunk.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

To view examples, click on the thumbnail below: