G6800 Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees | Page 20 | University of Missouri Extension

Revised June 2008

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Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees

Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila)

Large trees

  • Maximum height
    70 feet
  • Relative growth rate
  • Freedom from insect pests
    Very poor
  • Freedom from disease problems
  • Resistance to storm damage
    Very poor
  • Will grow on poorly drained soil
  • Will grow in hot, dry areas
  • Easy to transplant
  • Withstands city conditions

The Siberian elm is better known in this country as the Chinese elm than it is by its correct common name. The true Chinese elm, a small tree native to central and southern China, is not commonly grown in the central United States.

About the only desirable characteristic of the Siberian elm is its ability to grow in areas where few other trees will survive. It is short-lived, has some serious insect problems and is highly susceptible to storm damage. The Siberian elm should never be seriously considered for planting except in areas where few other trees will grow.

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