Eastern North America
Medium sized deciduous tree with a vase-like profile and elegant spreading crown. The inner bark is reddish-brown, and the young emerging leaves are often tinged red before they hit the deep green of summer.
Height: Up tp 65 ft (20 meters)
Leaves: Toothy, serrated leaves that are asymmetrical at the stem, growing alternately along the branch.
Fruit: Wingless samaras
Bark: Gray to brown, with deep furrows separating wider flat regions.
Elms in general are quite easy to identify by their asymmetrical leaves. Notice the bottom of the leaves in this photo, all varieties of elms display this characteristic. In fall and winter look around the base of the tree to see if there are any old leaves to look at, it’s a tell-tale quirk of the Elm genus, ulmus.
NYC CENTRAL PARK ELMS:
The only straight path in Central Park leads visitors down Literary Walk, a promenade flanked by graceful American elms trees. There are over 2000 elms of different varieties in the park, and this particular grove of American elms is one of the oldest and largest left in North America. Elms were a favorite of urban plannersin the 19th and 20th centuries because of the cathedral-like ceilings they form when planted on opposite sides of the street. So when Dutch Elm disease hit in the 1930’s, elms in every city and town across the country began to die off. This stand was protected by the park’s vigilant arborists, who carefully monitor the trees and regularly amputate infected limbs.