The spectacular elm tree is part of the Elm family, popularly also called the elm or elm tree. This plant can often be found in forest plantings, parks and gardens. The tree has a powerful trunk and a sprawling crown that not only provides a wonderful decoration for various areas but also acts as a kind of barrier against dirt and dust.
Properties of elm
Most experts consider elm (ulmus laevis) to be as powerful and majestic as oak. Such a relict species is long-lived, with a lifespan of several hundred years.
Karagach is quite widespread in Europe and North America. On the territory of Russia, this plant is represented in several subspecies.
Elm is grown both in mixed plantings and alone. It prefers to grow on nutritious soil, but this tree also grows quite well on poor soil. With a lack of sunlight, such a plant begins to actively stretch upwards.
And the elm is a fast-growing plant. In one year the growth in height is about half a meter, while the trunk increases to 30 cm in girth.
The height of an adult tree can reach up to 40 m, but there are such varieties that look very similar to shrubs. When young, the bark is pale brown and smooth (not rough). Over the years, its surface becomes covered with vertically arranged grooves.
The strong and well-developed root system of elm goes deep into the ground: at 150 cm girth of the trunk, to a depth of 30 m. However, there are varieties whose root system grows wide and covers large areas.
The leaf plates are elongated-oval in shape, with a toothed edge. They are 4-20 cm in size. The leaves are short-petioled and arranged alternately on the branches.
With the onset of the autumn months, the leaves change their color from green to brown-red. They fall off rather quickly.
The elm blossoms in early spring before the leaves open. The yellow inflorescences are small in size. The seeds are small wing-nuts.
They fully mature in late May, after which the wind blows the seeds in different directions. Under favorable conditions, the seedling can appear only a few days after the seed has fallen to the ground.
Young elm species with photos
From all species of the Ilm family, elm is the most widespread. It readily adapts to bad weather conditions and withstands frosts as low as minus 28 degrees. The following subspecies of elm are the most popular:
Smooth or common elm (Ulmus laevis)
The height of such a tree can reach up to 25 m.
The surface of the trunk is covered by dark brown bark with clearly distinguishable relief. The leaf lamellae are large. This variety differs from the others in the coloring of the leaves: one surface is dark green, while the other is a lighter shade with slight pubescence. The inflorescences are colored burgundy-purple.
Squat elm or elm (Ulmus pumila)
This low-sized tree has a height of about 15 m.
Quite often it looks like a shrub. The species is most widespread in the Far East. Its small leaf blades are greenish in color. When flowering it is decorated with small brown-yellow inflorescences.
Ulmus rough or mountain elm (Ulmus glabra)
Prefers fertile ground.
Most often found in mixed forests. Compared to other varieties, the bark of this elm is smoothest. The height of the tree is about 40 meters. The surface of the green, large leaves is uneven.
The rough elm and its weeping form 'Camperdownii'.
Range, agronomy, diseases.
In nature, elm is found throughout Europe and the Scandinavian Peninsula. This plant is not afraid of temperature changes, but if the air temperature drops to minus 30 degrees and below, young branches can freeze. In Russia, the elm is found in the Southern Urals, in Western Siberia, the Volga region, etc.
Potting in the open ground
Potting elm in the open ground is not difficult.
For this, you will need dried seed that has matured well. The seedlings will show up a few days after sowing. Remember that seeds lose their germination rate very quickly, so it is best not to delay sowing.
Step-by-step instructions for sowing:
- Collect the seeds after the elm has finished flowering. The seeds are then placed in damp absorbent cotton or sown into a moist substrate.
Before this, it is recommended to treat the seeds with an antifungal agent.
- A few days later, the seeds are sown into a container filled with soil mixture. Black earth is best for sowing, as it will speed up the growth of seedlings. You can also use leaf humus. Whatever substrate you choose, it must be soft and moist.
- Submerge the seeds in the substrate by about 10-20 mm. The distance between the holes should be approximately 25 centimeters. Cover the top of the soil mixture with a layer of dried grass, sphagnum moss or absorbent cotton. Moisturize the substrate every day. In about a week and a half the seedlings should appear, and then the covering material should be removed for good.
Saplings are recommended to be placed in direct sunlight as often as possible. If there is no wind or precipitation outside, it is advisable to take the seedlings out into the fresh air (in the garden or on a balcony). By the end of the first year of growth, the seedling will be about 20 centimeters high. It can be planted outdoors in the second year.
Maintenance for elm
Protect the plant from frost and harsh winds while it is young for several years.
It needs to be covered with special wintering coverings. Do not forget that the development of the root system is directly related to the nutrition of the soil. In this regard, if the soil is poor, then regular fertilization will be required. Do not forget to loosen the soil near the plant regularly. A young tree grows quite fast during the year and grows about 0.
4-0.5 m high. The branches of the first and second year are not pruned, it is necessary for the correct formation of the crown. Only dead or diseased branches should be cut. Crown pruning can be done as the tree is growing up.
I elm can be propagated by seed (described in detail above), but you can also use the cuttings method. Cuttings are taken in late autumn. Treat it with a product that stimulates the formation of roots. Put the cuttings in a container with water and wait for it to grow roots. Planting the cuttings in the open ground is carried out when it has formed the first roots.
Plant it in special fertile and loose soil.
Diseases and pests
Most common pests on elm are scabies, legworms and leafminers. You can tell that the plant is diseased by the following signs: the appearance of growths on the bark surface and withering of the crown. To get rid of pests and diseases, it is recommended to treat the tree with insecticidal or fungicidal preparations, also copper sulfate solution is often used.
As long as the tree is young, it is much easier to cure various diseases.
Old trees are extremely difficult to treat, especially fungal diseases are dangerous for them. Because of this, it is recommended that antifungal preparations are always used already when planting elm.
Use and importance
Fruits, bark and leaves of elm are quite widely used in non-traditional medicine. However, before using elm-based remedies to treat any disease, it is necessary to consult with your doctor. The fact is that such treatment has certain contraindications and undesirable side effects.
The decoction of leaves and bark has a pronounced anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and wound-healing action. The extract is used to treat diseases of the heart, thyroid gland, kidneys, blood vessels, etc.
The decoction is used for throat diseases. For example, with sore throat, it is used for regular gargling. The leaves are used to make tea, which helps with constipation.
Baths with bark are recommended for kidney diseases and hemorrhoids. A tincture is used for rashes on the skin.
The wood of elm has excellent properties and therefore it is widely used in industrial production. Often elm wood is used as an alternative, replacing more expensive species of trees. The fact is that this wood has a texture that allows to imitate valuable varieties, it has a rather light coloring.
Even lovers of mahogany like elm. Paintings are made of elm as well as home furniture.
Wood of elm has a high density: approximately 600 kg/m3. The cut is very impressive in texture and is very popular in the carpentry industry. It is rot proof and very difficult to saw or split.
It is very easy to polish.
In the old days, elm was also popular with woodworkers. And its bark was used for making paint. Such a tree is often used to decorate city streets and parks.
Application in landscape design
The mighty elm has a lush, dome-shaped crown.
Because its foliage is very dense, it is able to protect residential areas from gas, dust and dirty air by trapping them. In addition, elm looks very effective and gives dense shade.
Often landscape designers create various figures from the crown of elm, thanks to the fact that the plant has thick branches. Well-developed strong root system helps to strengthen the slopes of ravines, banks of rivers and lakes.
This tree is often planted in the yard territory.
It is used not only for decoration, but also to strengthen the soil. This helps to protect the nutrient soil from sliding, erosion and weathering.
When choosing a variety of elm and the place for its planting, it is important to consider the size of the mature tree. Today there are both very large varieties of elm and miniature varieties. For example, low elm trees will be scarce in a wide area, and large, tall trees are not well suited for a patio.
Horny Elm. How I form the crown of a stump tree.