- Ulmus pumila is a deciduous tree up to 70 ft. (21.3 m) in height. The crown is open and rounded with slender, spreading branches. The bark is light-gray with irregular furrows.
- The leaves are less than 3 in. (7.6 cm) long, alternate, simple, singly-serrate, and dark-green in color. Unlike most elms the leaf base is usually symmetrical.
- Green, inconspicuous, apetalous (without petals) flowers develop, in drooping clusters, in the spring.
- Fruits are flat, circular and 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) wide and each contains a single seed.
- Ecological Threat
- Ulmus pumila invades pastures, road-sides and prairies throughout the Midwest and Great Plains regions of the United States. The trees are very drought and cold resistant allowing it to grow in areas where other trees cannot. The abundant, wind-dispersed seeds allow this plant to spread rapidly. It forms dense thickets that close open areas and displace native vegetation, thereby reducing forage for wild animals and livestock. Ulmus pumila is native to northern Asia and was first introduced into North America in the 1860s. It has been planted throughout the Midwest and Great Plains for windbreaks and lumber.