Ulmus pumila

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Taxonomy
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Urticales
Family: Ulmaceae
Genus: Ulmus
Species: U. pumila
Scientific Name
Ulmus pumila
L.
Common Names

Siberian elm

Overview

Appearance
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.
Foliage
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.
Flowers
Green, inconspicuous, apetalous (without petals) flowers develop, in drooping clusters, in the spring.
Fruit
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.

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