Ulmus spp.

Ulmaceae (Elm family)


Four species of native elms are listed in Texas: winged, American, cedar and slippery elm. Depending on age and other conditions, elms can be small, shrubby trees or large trees reaching up to 90 feet tall. The bark usually has deep, vertical furrows.

The leaves grow on short petioles (leaf stalks). Along the margins, the leaves are heavily veined and sharply toothed; at the base they are unevenly shaped. The flowers are small and generally not noticeable. The seeds have wings for wind dispersal.

The leaves offer fair forage value for whitetail deer and goats.


Elms grow in high-moisture areas along creeks and streams and around ponds. Some species are found in drier areas such as fence lines and abandoned fields in East Texas. They grow in most soil types but prefer neutral to acidic sands and sandy loams. Elms are commonly found growing with hackberry.