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Ulmus alata

Description

Ulmus alata, commonly called winged elm, is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree that typically grows to 30-50’ tall with an open-rounded crown. It is native from Virginia to southern Indiana and Missouri south to Florida and Texas.  The winged elm is in the Ulmaceae family. Its twigs usually have two wide corky ridges or wings (alata is from Latin meaning winged), hence the common name.  The bark is red-brown to ashy gray with flat topped ridges that are separated by irregular fissures.

Fire Risk: This plant has a low flammability rating.

Seasons of Interest: 

  Leaves:  Fall                 Blooms:    Late Winter/Early Spring            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Spring

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  Dutch elm disease, a fatal fungal disease spread by airborne bark beetles, attacks the water-conducting tissue of this tree, resulting in wilting, defoliation and death. Powdery mildew can be a significant problem in some areas, with foliage sometimes acquiring a noticeable white tint by late summer. Phloem necrosis is a disease caused by a phytoplasma that attacks the food-conducting tissue of the tree, usually resulting in a loosening of the bark, wilting, defoliation and death. Wetwood is a bacterial disease that results in wilting and dieback. Various wilts, rots, cankers and leaf spots may also occur. Insect visitors include borers, leaf miner, beetles, mealy bugs, caterpillars and scale.

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#butterflies#deciduous#fall color#small tree#shade tree#songbirds#wildlife plant#native tree#host plant#air pollution tolerant#wet sites#small mammals#low flammability#NC native#deer resistant#native garden#fire resistant#Braham Arboretum#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#butterflies#deciduous#fall color#small tree#shade tree#songbirds#wildlife plant#native tree#host plant#air pollution tolerant#wet sites#small mammals#low flammability#NC native#deer resistant#native garden#fire resistant#Braham Arboretum#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ulmus
    Species:
    alata
    Family:
    Ulmaceae
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern and central North America
    Distribution:
    Southeastern U.S.
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    It is a host plant for the Painted Lady, Eastern Comma, Mourning Cloak, Question Mark, and Red Spotted Purple butterflies.   The seeds are eaten by songbirds and small mammals.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Resistant to fire and moderately resistant to damage from deer.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Small drupe but very distinctive, 1/2 inch long, covered with warty to long projections. The seeds mature in April-May as the leaves reach full size.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Description:
    The Winged elm has insignificant, small, brownish-green flowers appear in clusters in late winter to early spring before the foliage emerges. The flower is typically very small with curling fuzzy stigmas.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Doubly Dentate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The Winged elm has alternate, ovate to elliptic, rough-textured dark green leaves (to 2.5” long) with doubly toothed margins and asymetrical bases. The leaves typically turn an undistinguished dull yellowish green in fall.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Red/Burgundy
    Bark Description:
    The bark is red-brown to ashy gray with flat topped ridges that are separated by irregular fissures. Scaly, shredding, patchy and grayish-brown, some reddish where bark exfoliates
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Its twigs usually have two wide corky ridges or wings (alata is from Latin meaning winged), hence the common name.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Dry Soil
    Fire
    Wet Soil