Ulmus laevis is very closely allied in botanical characters to the American species Ulmus americana, from which it is indeed difficult to distinguish it[
Ulmus celtidea Litv.
Ulmus communis ornata Carrière
Ulmus effusa Willd.
Ulmus pedunculata Foug.
Ulmus simplicidens E.L.Wolf
Common Name: Russian Elm
Ulmus laevis is a deciduous tree with a large, spreading, open crown; it can grow 30 metres or more tall, with a bole up to 180cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. It is harvested on a commercial basis for its wood.
Eurasia - Sweden to France, east to western Siberia, the Caucasus and Turkey
Deciduous amd mixed woods, often on river floodplains[
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Prefers a position in full sun, but tolerates light shade[
]. Grows best in a moist, fertile, well-drained loamy soil, but can adapt to most soils and drier sites[
]. Plants are tolerant of urban pollution[
This species is susceptible to 'Dutch elm disease'[
], a disease that has destroyed the greater part of all the native elm trees growing in countries such as Britain and USA. The disease is spread by means of beetles. Mature trees killed back by the disease will often regrow from suckers, but these too will succumb when they get larger. There is no effective cure (1992) for the problem, but most E. Asian, though not Himalayan, species are resistant (though not immune) to the disease so the potential exists to use these resistant species to develop new resistant hybrids with the native species[
The various species of this genus hybridize freely with each other and pollen is easily saved, so even those species with different flowering times can be hybridized[
Leaves - raw or cooked. We have no specific information for this species, but the very young leaves of all Ulmus species can be eaten, and generally have a mild flavour[
Collectively, the bark of all species in the genus Ulmus may have anti-inflammatory effects in the gut[
A fibre is obtained from the inner bark. Of rather poor quality[
The tree yields valuable lumber for carpentry[
Seed - if sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe, it usually germinates within a few days[
]. Stored seed does not germinate so well and should be sown in early spring[
]. The seed can also be harvested 'green' (when it has fully developed but before it dries on the tree) and sown immediately in a cold frame. It should germinate very quickly and will produce a larger plant by the end of the growing season[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Plants should not be allowed to grow for more than two years in a nursery bed since they form a tap root and will then move badly.
Layering of suckers or coppiced shoots[