Siberian elm

Urticales > Ulmaceae > Ulmus pumila L.

Siberian elm is a deciduous tree up to 70 ft. (21.3 m) in height. The crown is open and rounded with slender, spreading branches. The leaves are less than 3 in. (7.6 cm) long, alternate, simple, singly-serrate, and dark-green in color. The bark is light-gray with irregular furrows. Green, inconspicuous flowers develop, in drooping clusters, in the spring. Fruits are flat, circular and 1/2 in. (1.3 cm) wide. Siberian elm invades pastures, roadsides 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. Siberian elm forms dense thickets that close open areas and displace native vegetation, thereby reducing forage for wild animals and livestock. Siberian elm 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.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

  • Weeds of the Week - USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, Forest Health Protection

Selected Images from

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Steve Dewey, Utah State University,
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John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy,
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Patrick Breen, Oregon State University,
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Infestation; In undeveloped land near house
Steve Dewey, Utah State University,
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Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database,
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check for most current lists.
  • New Mexico - Noxious Weed Law
  • Texas - Invasive Plant List
  • Virginia - Invasive Alien Plant Species
  • Mid-Atlantic - EPPC List
  • Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species
  • Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest

External Links

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USDA Forest Service Bugwood University of Georgia