The Fast and Furious Elm

Are you in a hurry for a big shade tree but you have a tough site? Consider an elm. Elms are one of the fastest growing trees we carry, and after a few years you will have a nice sized tree standing proudly in your landscape. Super tough and not picky about soil, elms are an excellent choice for difficult areas where establishing other trees presents a challenge.

Elms do well with fall planting, so now is a great time to get them in and enjoy the soft yellow fall color. Adding a ring of mulch 2-4” deep around your new tree will even further increase its vigor and protect the root zone over winter. As always, make sure mulch isn’t piled up against the bark- keeping it about 2 inches away from the trunk is ideal to avoid bark rot.      

What about Dutch Elm Disease? The varieties we carry all display high resistance to the disease, so you can feel confident in planting these classic trees! 

The fast-growing nature of elms is great, but it does mean that they need regular pruning in their youth to maintain good branch structure.  Prune elms annually in their dormancy, winter to early spring.

Tips on pruning:

Remove branches that are at an extremely acute angle

Remove spindly or weakly attached branches

Branches that are crossing or rubbing will become an issue, prune so that branches do not touch

Dense groups of branches should be thinned- pick one large healthy branch and remove the rest

Avoid cutting into the collar, the swollen ring at the base of each branch

As always, use a sterile, sharp cutting tool