Vanguard Elm – Ulmus 'Morton Plainsman'

Vanguardâ„¢ Elm – U. 'Morton Plainsman'
Family Ulmaceae – Zelkova, Hackberry, Elm

A shade tree for home, commercial, park or street tree. Excellent cold hardiness.

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Vanguardâ„¢ Elm
Vanguardâ„¢ Elm – Ulmus 'Morton Plainsman' is 13 years old

"Waxy, lustrous green leaves with vigorous upright growth habit" is how The Morton Arboretum describes this tree. [1]
Grows to 50 feet with a spread of 45. Does best in full sun and adapts easily to extremes in soil moisture and pH. Tolerates wind and heat.  'Morton Plainsman' is a cross of Siberian elm U. pumila and  U. davidiana var. japonica. [3] (Figure 1, below). Along with the famous Accolade elm, Vanguard elm is in turn a parent of the Triumph Elm – Ulmus 'Morton Glossy'.
Siberian elm, U. pumila
Siberian elm, U. pumila
David Elm, U. davidiana
David Elm, U. davidiana  (This is var. mandshurica)
Vanguard elm is an introduction through Chicagoland Grows®, a nonprofit corporation of the Chicago Botanic Garden, The Morton Arboretum and the Ornamental Growers Association of Northern Illinois (OGA).

Vanguard is parent to Triumph™ Elm, second in a line of many to be introduced from the elm improvement program at The Morton Arboretum. The program began when the significance of the large, glossy-leaved hybrid elm near the Thornhill Education Center was recognized. Accolade® was the first elm to be commercially introduced from The Morton Arboretum’s tree breeding and selection program. The program was established by Dr. George Ware to test and examine as many species of Asian elms as possible in an effort to find suitable replacements for the beloved but disease-prone American elm." [1]

elm leaves


  1. Morton Arboretum, "Vanguard Elm"
  2. Vanguard Elm, Morton Arboretum acc. 273-97-1, photos by Bruce Marlin
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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