Family Ulmaceae – Zelkovas, Hackberries and Elms

Family Ulmaceae – Zelkova, Hackberry, Elm
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The Morton Arboretum has one of the largest living Ulmus collections in the world.

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American Elms show prototypical vase shape of the Ulmus genus.

Once a very popular and long-lived (300+ years) shade and street tree, American elm was decimated in the mid-20th century by "Dutch" elm disease, a fungus spread by a bark beetle. The wood of American Elm is very hard and was a valuable timber tree used for lumber, furniture and veneer. The Indians once made canoes out of American Elm trunks, and early settlers would steam the wood so it could be bent to make barrels and wheel hoops. It was also used for the rockers on rocking chairs.

The Morton Arboretum, at Lisle, Illinois, where these pictures were taken, 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.

The 12 species being studied are: the Bergmann (Ulmus bergmanniana), Taihang Mountain (U. taihangshanensis), Tibetan (U. microcarpa), Anhui (U. gaussenii), Hebei (U. lamellosa), Harbin (U. harbinensis), corkbark (U. propinqua var. suberosa), plum-leaved (U. prunifolia), Chenmou (Ulmus chenmoui), Gansu (Ulmus glaucescens var. lasiocarpa), chestnut-leaved (U. castaneifolia) and Father David (U. davidiana var. mandshurica) elms.

These 12 Chinese trees are virtually unknown in the U.S., but are under close study at the arboretum. Dendrologist Emeritus and former research director Dr. George Ware, and Arboretum Assistant Director of Collections Kunso Kim are responsible for their observation and data collection. Their efforts may help ameliorate the effects of numerous maladies affecting trees around the world, such as Emerald Ash Borer, Oak wilt, Asian Longhorned Beetle, Pine Sawyer Beetle, et al.

"These and other problems underscore the urgent need for the Arboretum and others to continue seeking new species for urban use," Kim says. The average lifespan of an urban tree is fewer than 10 years, according to Ware. But planting hardier trees increases the likelihood of a longer life and a greener world – a goal that has never been more important than now, with climate change upon us. [2]

Nikko Elm
Nikko Elm
Siberian Elm
Siberian Elm
Japanese Zelkova
Japanese Zelkova
Japanese Zelkova
Zelkova 'Green Vase'
Village Green Zelkova
Zelkova 'Village Green'
Japanese Elm
Japanese Elm
David Elm
David Elm
English Elm
English Elm
Smooth-leaved Elm
Smooth-leaved Elm
Cedar Elm - Ulmus crassifolia
Cedar Elm
Jersey Elm - Ulmus carpinifolia 'Sarniensis'
Jersey Elm
Large-fruited Elm - Ulmus macrocarpa
Large-fruited Elm
Dropmore Siberian Elm Ulmus pumila 'Dropmore'
Dropmore Siberian Elm
Chinese Elm - Ulmus parvifolia
Chinese Elm
Hybrid Elm - Ulmus (carpinifolia x pumila)
Hybrid Elm

Corkbark Elm
Rock Elm - Ulmus thomasii
Rock Elm
Accolade Elm
Accolade Elm
Holland Elm
Klemmer Holland Elm
Bergmann's Elm - Ulmus bergmanniana
Bergmann's Elm
Russian Elm - Ulmus laevis
Russian Elm
Chenmou Elm
Chenmou Elm
American Elm
American Elm
Hobei Elm - Ulmus lamellosa
Hobei Elm
Greuneveld Holland Elm - Ulmus x hollandica
Holland Elm
Hackberry - Celtis occidentalis
Triumph Elm - Ulmus 'Morton Glossy'
Triumph Elm
Scotch Elm, Wych Elm - Ulmus glabra
Scotch Elm, Wych Elm
Winged Elm - Ulmus alata
Winged Elm
Sugarberry - Celtis laevigata
 Celtis laevigata
Commendationâ„¢ Elm - Ulmus 'Morton Stalwart'
Commendationâ„¢ Elm
 Ulmus 'Morton Stalwart'
Vanguardâ„¢ Elm - Ulmus 'Morton Plainsman'
Vanguardâ„¢ Elm
 Ulmus 'Morton Plainsman'

  1. The Morton Arboretum, Arboretum Records Honor, Milestone; Looks to Future
  2. The University of Texas at Austin, BIO 406D Native Plants of Central Texas
  3. The Morton Arboretum, Dutch Elm Disease,
  4. Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson, USDA Forest Service, Chinese Elm – Ulmus parvifolia
  5. USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Staff, Newtown Square, PA. Invasive Plants website WOW 04-18-05
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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