Bergmann’s Elm

Bergmann’s Elm – Ulmus bergmanniana

Bergmann's Elm foliage

Bergmann’s Elm is native to China, generally found growing between 1500-2600 meters in Anhui, Gansu, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Zhejiang provinces. [1]

Bergmann's ElmUlmus bergmanniana, obtained as a plant from Yunan, China, is 13 years old

This tree is very closely related to the Wych Elm Ulmus glabra; it can reach a height of 26 m with a wide-spreading crown. The bark is longitudinally fissured, and varies in colour from greyish-white to dark grey. The leaves range from obovate to elliptic, less than 16 cm long, and bluish-green in color. The perfect, wind-pollinated apetalous flowers are produced on second-year shoots in February, followed by generally orbicular samarae less than 16 mm in diameter. Branchlets do not possess the corky wings characteristic of many other elm species.

Bergmann’s elm is somewhat resistant to Dutch Elm Disease, and in the Morton Arboretum’s assessment, it is a suitable replacement for the American elm in shade or street tree plantings [1].

Bergmann's Elm bark

The Morton Arboretum, at Lisle, Illinois, is home to the largest Elm collection in North America. Under study, the collection includes almost all of the 22 Elm species native to China, a dozen of which show resistance to Dutch elm disease and elm yellows. The Arboretum in past years has bred and marketed five new elm varieties resistant to Dutch elm disease.


  1. Flora of China, Ulmus bergmanniana
  2. NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY, Field Guide to North American Trees–E: Eastern Region
  3. The Morton Arboretum, Arboretum Records Honor, Milestone; Looks to Future

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