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Scientific Name: Ulmus spp. Ulmaceae

Family: Ulmus spp.

Elm (Ulmus spp.) contains about 45 species native to Asia [11], Europe and the Mediterranean [6], South and Central America [7] and North America [7]. All species look alike microscopically. The word ulmus is the classical Latin name.

Other Common Names

Soft Elms

Ulmus americana American elm, American soft elm, American weeping elm, American white elm, Florida elm, gray elm, gray hard elm, rock elm, springwood, soft elm, swamp elm, water elm, white elm

Ulmus rubra gray elm, Indian elm, it slips ooo-hoosk-ah, moose elm, red elm, red wooded elm, rock elm, slippery elm, soft elm, sweet elm

Hard Elms

Ulmus alata cork elm, mountain elm, red elm, southern elm, wahoo, wahoo elm, water elm, whahoo, winged elm, witch elm

Ulmus crassifolia American red elm, basket elm, cedar elm, red elm, rock elm, small leaved elm, southern rock elm, Texas elm, water elm

Ulmus serotina Red elm, September elm

Ulmus thomasii Canadian rock elm, cliff elm, cork elm, corkbark elm, corky elm, corky barked elm, hickory elm, northern cork elm, northern corkbark elm, rock elm, swamp elm, Thomas elm, wahoo, white elm, white corky elm


The eastern to midwest United States.

The Tree

Elm trees can reach a height of 100 ft (30 m), with a diameter of 3 ft (1 m). They may be infected with the Dutch elm disease, caused by a fungus (Ceratocystis ulmi), especially in shade trees.

General Wood Characteristics

The sapwood of elm is nearly white, while the heartwood is light brown to brown with a reddish tinge. The wood has no characteristic odor or taste.

Working Properties

Elm is moderately heavy, hard and stiff, with excellent bending and shock resistance. It is difficult to split because of its interlocked grain.


Rated as slightly or nonresistant to heartwood decay.


Slippery elm is classed as permeable to preservatives, and rock elm, resistant.


Boxes, baskets, crates, cheese boxes, slack cooperage, furniture, caskets, hockey sticks, veneer, pulp and paper manufacture. (NOTE: Uses predate the interduction of Dutch Elm Disease into the US. use of elm should be limited to non-food items only.)


No information available at this time.

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