Trees And Shrubs

Smooth-leaved Elm Ulmus carpinifolia


The smooth-leaved elm is a more warmth-loving species than the wych elm and is found in Europe only as far north as the Baltic Sea. It grows mainly in the lowlands on alluvial deposits in mixed woods, together with oak, alder and poplar. It reaches a height of 30 metres, and may attain an age of several hundred years, growing a thick trunk. The globular flower buds can already be distinguished in winter. The flowers appear in February and March and the fruits — orbicular-winged samaras with a single seed — mature at the end of May. The leaves are ovate, opposite, broadest in the mid-section and with a more or less unequal base. The root system is heart-shaped with numerous, flat lateral roots. The smooth-leaved elm is marked by a vigorous production of stump suckers, and, sometimes, root suckers. It requires rich, moist soil. Found in drier situations is the form Ulmus carpinifolia suberosa that has corky winged plates on the branchlets. In the past several decades, the smooth-leaved elm has been greatly decimated by the Dutch elm disease, a disease caused by a fungus that causes wilting of the foliage and drying out of branches, and makes its further planting a controversial problem.

Leaves: 5—10 cm long, ovate, with markedly unequal base, smooth, dark green above. With doubly serrate margin. Fruit: Flat, rounded-winged samara, 1—1.5 cm long, with a central seed.

Smooth-leaved Elm Ulmus carpinifolia

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