Ulmus americana L.
Coefficient of Conservatism: 1
Coefficient of Wetness: -3
Wetness Index: FACW
Physiognomy: Nt Tree

Characteristic of swamps, such as river floodplains, even cedar swamps, often with Silver Maple, and also in rich upland hardwoods; also an important early successional species.

Occasional plants, especially on young sprouts, produce leaves as harshly scabrous above as in U. rubra, feeling like coarse sandpaper, but the leaves are more likely to be smooth beneath. Both this species and U. rubra have a familiar and characteristic “vase-shape,” whereas in U. thomasii the trunk generally extends straight into the crown before forking. The outer bark of this species consists of alternating pale and dark brown layers, while in U. rubra the outer bark is solid brown.

Our stately elms have suffered especially from the Dutch elm disease, first noted in Michigan in 1950 near Detroit, Wayne Co., and subsequently fatal to most trees essentially throughout the state; the disease is caused by an ascomycetous fungus, Ceratocystis ulmi, spores of which are carried by beetles and enter healthy tissue via wounds caused by feeding of the beetles on young shoots. While elms are still abundant, they typically die as small trees, the species now essentially converted to a scruffy, early successional species of old fields. It is particularly poignant that younger naturalists will have no memory, only a few old pictures, of the giant elms with wide-spreading, arching crowns that made floodplain forests natural cathedrals.


Alcona County
Alger County
Allegan County
Alpena County
Antrim County
Arenac County
Baraga County
Barry County
Bay County
Benzie County
Berrien County
Calhoun County
Cass County
Charlevoix County
    Including Beaver Island
Cheboygan County
Chippewa County
Clare County
Clinton County
Crawford County
Delta County
Eaton County
Emmet County
Genesee County
Gladwin County
Gogebic County
Grand Traverse County
Gratiot County
Hillsdale County
Houghton County
Huron County
Ingham County
Ionia County
Iron County
Isabella County
Jackson County
Kalamazoo County
Kent County
Keweenaw County
Lake County
Lapeer County
Leelanau County
    Including Fox Islands
    Including Manitou Islands
Lenawee County
Livingston County
Luce County
Mackinac County
    Only on Bois Blanc, Mackinac, Round Islands
Macomb County
Manistee County
Marquette County
Mason County
Menominee County
Midland County
Missaukee County
Monroe County
Montcalm County
Muskegon County
Oakland County
Oceana County
Ogemaw County
Ontonagon County
Osceola County
Oscoda County
Ottawa County
Saginaw County
Sanilac County
Schoolcraft County
Shiawassee County
St. Clair County
St. Joseph County
Tuscola County
Van Buren County
Washtenaw County
Wayne County


MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. September 27, 2022. https://michiganflora.net/species.aspx?id=2748.