Characteristics of Field Elm Tree (Ulmus minor) in the Wild

Ulmus minor
Field elm or European elm (Ulmus minor) is a species of elm tree that mostly grows naturally in southern Europe. The tree is resilient, tolerates flooding, heat, and drought.

In 2009, Dr. Max Coleman of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh wrote: “The enigmatic English Elm (Ulmus minor ‘Atinia’) tree such as the Elm Plot (Ulmus minor ‘Plotii’) has proven to be a single clone of Field elm ( Ulmus minor).

In European countries, Field elm trees are highly valued as ornamental plants, yards, parks, and roadside. The tree can live in a long enough age, but unfortunately, it is vulnerable to pests and plant diseases. So, to maintain the Field elm tree requires consistency.

Regrettably, the Field Elm tree is threatened with extinction in its original habitat due to a plant disease called the Mushroom Pouch (Ascomycota) spread by beetles. The extinction of some ancient Elm tree varieties in the wild is also caused by this fungus.

The ancient Field elm tree which is known to be alive today is in the village square of Metaxades, Thrace, Greece. The tree was planted in 1286 by local villagers right next to a mountain spring.

There have been many elm cultivars that have been cultivated in Europe since the 18th century, although many now may be extinct due to plant diseases.

 

Characteristics of Field Elm Leaf

Ulmus minor Leaf
Source : flickr.com/Andreas Rockstein

The leaves are oval or ovoid, 12-15 mm long, smaller than other European elm species, but the shape can vary greatly according to the growing conditions.

Leaves on small trees are coarse and pubescent, while leaves on older trees are generally smooth, although they vary greatly in shape.

 

Characteristics of Field Elm Flower

Ulmus minor Flower
Source : flickr.com/Andreas Rockstein

The flowers grow in clusters and are pink to dark red.

 

Characteristics of Field Elm Fruit

Ulmus minor Fruit
Source : flickr.com/photopo├ęsie

The fruit is small, flat, green on the edges, and brown or red on the core of the fruit.

 

Characteristics of Field Elm Tree

Ulmus minor Tree
Source : flickr.com/Andreas Rockstein

Field elm trees usually grow to a height of 30-40 meters and have a round crown. The bark is rough, wrinkled, and square patterned cracks.

 

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