Ulmus americana

American Elm


Also known as Ulmus floridana

Plant Specifics

Size:60-80 ft tall by 20-40 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:Green,NA
Fruit Color:Brown,NA
Noted for:Fall color, Interesting foliage


Recommended Uses:Shade tree, formerly used as a street tree noted for its spreading urn-shaped crown. Tolerant of root disturbance.
Considerations:Susceptible to Dutch elm disease.
Propagation:Seed or cuttings.
Availability:Native nurseries, Quality nurseries
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry)
Moisture Tolerance: Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH:Circum-neutral



  • Seeds used by birds in spring when little else is available.
  • Used for nesting. 


Larval host for: Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma), Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

Native Habitats:Floodplain forest, wet mesic forests, hardwood swamps.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:This tree is subject to Dutch elm disease. While not as much a problem in Florida as further north, it should be a concern for anyone planning to use this species in a landscape setting. In most of eastern North America, this tree has largely disappeared from landscape use due to mass mortality from Dutch elm disease.