What’s left to be said about the mighty elm… Once considered the pinnacle of boulevard trees (the word boulevard actually originated as referring to elm lined streets), the elm has had a rough century. With the arrival of Dutch elm disease, many North American cities saw the once ubiquitous tree razed from their landscape. Fortunately us Edmontonians got ahead of the disease, and though we don’t have any natural elm stands, we are considered to have one of the largest populations of elm trees unaffected by the disease. Which means we get to continue to enjoy the elegant grace these magnificent creatures bring to the urban scape.

What You Need To Know:

  • Lifespan: With proper care, these trees can live for 100-200 years, offering generations the opportunity to enjoy their shade and beauty.
  • Canopy Size and Spread: Reaches a mature spread of 70-100 feet, creating a massive shade canopy.
  • Growth Rate: Fast grower, adding 2-3 feet per year after establishment.
  • Canopy Height: Maturity brings a height of 70-100 feet, providing ample shade for large landscapes.
  • Soil Preference: Adapts well to various soils but thrives in moist, well-drained conditions. Tolerates clay and loam.
  • Water Needs: Moderately water-dependent, especially during the first few years after planting and during dry spells. Once established, they are moderately drought tolerant.
  • Light Preference: Full sun exposure is ideal for optimal growth and canopy development.
  • Flowers and Fruits: Small, inconspicuous reddish-brown flowers appear in clusters in early spring, lasting only a short period. These are followed by single-winged seeds (samaras) that mature in fall and add winter texture.

Interesting Facts

  • Majestic Shade Provider: The American Elm boasts a massive, vase-shaped canopy, offering cooling shade for homes, parks, and streets.
  • Fast-Growing and Adaptable: This elm grows quickly, providing shade relatively soon after planting. It also adapts to a variety of soil conditions, making it suitable for various landscapes.
  • Cultural Significance: The American Elm has been a beloved symbol of resilience and community spirit in North America for centuries. Planting a disease-resistant variety allows you to connect your landscape to this historical legacy.
  • Wildlife Haven: The American Elm provides valuable food and shelter for wildlife. Birds flock to feast on its winged seeds (samaras), while butterflies and other pollinators find nectar in its small flowers.
  • Cathedral Effect: The mature American Elm’s high canopy and arching branches create a cathedral-like effect, offering a sense of grandeur and peace in landscapes.


Interested In Adding This Unique Tree To Your Property?

Contact Edmonton Arborist and our expert tree planting team will bring and install your very own American Elm!

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Consumer choice award for Northern Alberta tree services 2022 and 2023!