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Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila)

Siberian elm Synonyms: Ulmus campestris var. pumila; U. manshurica; U. turkestanica

Common Names: Chinese elm, littleleaf elm, dwarf elm


Habit: Fast growing deciduous tree that can reach a height of 50-70 feet with a round crown of slender, spreading branches.

Leaves: Small, smooth, dark green toothed leaves are about 1-2.5 inches long as wide, and pointed at the tip.

Stems: Rough, gray or brown, and shallowly furrowed at maturity. Twigs are nearly hairless with small, blunt buds.

Flowers: Small green spring flowers lack petals and occur in drooping clusters of 2-5.

Fruit and seeds: After flowering, a single seed forms in the center of each smooth, flattened, circular, 1/2 inch wide fruit.

Habitat: Native to northern China, eastern Siberia, Manchuria and Korea. Found in a wide range of growing conditions such as wet and dry soils, grasslands, roadsides, and pastures.

Reproduction: By seed.

Similar species: American elm (Ulmus americana) and slippery elm (Ulmus rubra) have twice-serrate leaves that are over 2.8? long and are asymmetrical at the base of the leaf. Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia) flowers in late summer or fall and the apex and teeth of leaves are less sharply acute.

Monitoring and rapid response: Girdling trees in late spring to midsummer is preferred. Seedlings can be hand pulled and girdled. Large trees can be cut down. Also, effectively controlled using any of several readily available general use herbicides such as glyphosate or triclopyr.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the U.S Forest Service Weed of the Week.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Siberian elm

Scientific Name:

Ulmus pumila







USDA Symbol: