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 NOXIOUS WEED
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Click for second page of Ulmus pumila photographs.

Ulmus pumila
Ulmus pumila (Siberian Elm)
Ulmaceae (Elm Family)

Foothills. Roadsides, fields, lawns. Spring.
Near Yellowjacket Canyon, June 8, 2004.

Siberian Elms are a common roadside and farm tree and can be seen throughout the Four Corners region.  Long lines of Siberian Elms have been planted as wind-breaks, and lone fifty-foot crown-spread trees are common around farm houses.  Birds find homes, bugs, and seeds in the Elms.  

Ulmus pumila was introduced from Asia and has spread widely because it is drought tolerant and produces numerous seeds which sprout and root easily, especially in areas that receive some moisture: roadsides, gardens, edges of buildings. Because Ulmus pumila does not choke waterways, does not reproduce in tangled thickets, and does not suck aquifers dry, it does not pose the same serious ecological problem as another common, non-native Southwest plant, Tamarisk.  However, the relation of U. pumila to other plants in its adopted environment needs to be studied to determine how it might be changing to adapt to new environments and how it might be changing the ecological relationships in that new environment.  Click to read a summary of Heidi Hirsch's research in these areasAnd click again for an update from Heidi on her research. 

"Ulmus" is the classical Latin name, and "pumila" is Latin for "dwarf", although the tree does grow to fifty feet and is among the taller trees of the Southwest.

Ulmus pumila
Ulmus pumila (Siberian Elm)
Ulmaceae (Elm Family)

Foothills. Roadsides, fields, lawns. Spring.
Near Yellowjacket Canyon, June 8, 2004.

Although trees planted close to each other do not commonly exceed two feet in diameter, trees growing without competition can exceed three or four feet in diameter.

Ulmus pumila
Ulmus pumila (Siberian Elm) Ulmaceae (Elm Family) 

Foothills. Roadsides, fields, lawns. Spring. Near Yellowjacket Canyon, June 7, 2010.

Soft green leaves grow after flowers and seeds.

Ulmus pumila
Ulmus pumila (Siberian Elm)
Ulmaceae (Elm Family)

Foothills. Roadsides, fields, lawns. Spring.
Near Yellowjacket Canyon, February 24, 2004.

Winter shows the stretching, arching skeletal structure of these 50 foot Siberian Elms.  Notice the downward leaning branches. The Elm on the right is about two feet in diameter.  The fuzzy white area in this Elm just above the fence is snow-fall from the Red Winged Blackbirds that landed in the trees as I took the picture. 

Ulmus pumila (Siberian Elm)
Ulmaceae (Elm Family)

Foothills. Roadsides, fields, lawns. Spring.
Near Yellowjacket Canyon, March 11, 2004.

Warmer days came two weeks after the above snowy photograph was taken and buds swelled with new growth.

Click for second page of Ulmus pumila photographs.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Ulmus pumila

Range map for Ulmus pumila