Large-Fruited Elm – Ulmus macrocarpa

Large-Fruited Elm – Ulmus macrocarpa
Family Ulmaceae – Zelkova, Hackberry, Elm

Widespread in the Far East, it is notable for its tolerance of drought and extreme cold.

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Large-Fruited Elm

The large-fruited elm is a deciduous tree or large shrub widespread in the Far East. It is notable for its tolerance of drought and extreme cold and is the predominant vegetation on the dunes of the Korqin sandy lands in the Jilin province of north-eastern China, making a small tree at the base of the dunes, and a shrub at the top.

The common name is from Latin macrocarpa, in reference to its large, orbicular, wafer-like samarae, up to 50mm in diameter. The tree can reach a height of 17 m, with a slender trunk. The bark is longitudinally fissured, and dark grey in colour. The twigs often develop corky wings that may persist for several years. The leaves are usually obovate, less than 9 cm long, characterized by their thick, leathery texture. The wind-pollinated apetalous flowers appear March till May, and seeds from April to June.

Large-Fruited Elm summer foliage

Possessed of a moderate resistance to Dutch elm disease and a low susceptibility to Elm Yellows, it has also proven very resistant to the elm leaf beetle, Xanthogaleruca luteola, in trials in Oklahoma.

Large-Fruited Elm Bark

  1. Colin Tudge, The Tree: A Natural History of What Trees Are, How They Live, and Why They Matter, Reprint (Three Rivers Press, 2007).
  2. NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY, Field Guide to North American Trees–E: Eastern Region
Tree Encyclopedia / North American Insects & Spiders is dedicated to providing scientific and educational resources for our users through use of large images and macro photographs of flora and fauna.

Family Ulmaceae – Zelkovas, Hackberries and Elms
There are about 200 species of trees and shrubs in Ulmaceae. Elms fell victim to Dutch Elm disease during the 1950s; until that time, they were the premier shade tree along the streets of our American towns and cities. The Morton Arboretum in past years has bred and marketed five new elm varieties resistant to Dutch elm disease.
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