Leaf Identification

The American Elm has pointed, ovate-shaped leaves with asymmetrical bases that are 3″ to 5″ long and 1″ to 3″ wide. The leaves have doubly serrated margins and pinnate veins. They are a dark green and turn yellow in the fall.

Twig and Bud Identification

The twig of The American Elm is often slender, smooth (glabrous), and reddish brown. It can have a slightly zig-zag form. The buds are reddish-brown as well with darker edged scales.

Bark Identification

The American Elm has dark gray, furrowed bark. When young, the bark is often described as “spongy.”

Fruit Identification

The fruit of the American Elm are winged seeds (samaras). These samras are broadly elliptic, papery, and “wafer-like.” It is hairy (pubescent) at the margins.

[photo forthcoming]

Flower Identification

The flowers of the American Elm are vase-shaped and in clusters. The “vase” part (calyx) can be light green to red and emerge from the leaf axils.

‘Valley Forge’ Identification

The ‘Valley Forge’ cultivar has a much higher resistance to Dutch Elm disease.