Scotch elms are large trees with a broad, oval-shaped crown that often branches low on the trunk.Read more about Tree, Bark, Twigs
Leaves are short-stalked and oval with a pointed tip and asymmetrical base.Read more about Leaves
Flowers are small and inconspicuous.Read more about Flowers
Fruit is an oval, light green, hairless, samara (winged fruit), with a notch at the tip.Read more about Fruit
Leaves are oval, 8 - 16 cm (3" - 6") long, with a pointed tip often flanked on one or both sides by an enlarged tooth or "horn". The base is asymmetrical, the larger side often covering the short stalk.
Prominent straight veins, some of which are forked, terminate in the tips of the double teeth on the leaf edge. The upper leaf surface is very rough; the underside hairy.
Fruit is a one-seeded samara (winged fruit), 20 - 25 mm (3/4" - 1") long, borne on a short stalk. Fruits are flat, pale green, hairless, with a notch at the tip.
Scotch elm is native to northern and central Europe and western Asia.
Derivation of names
The genus name Ulmus is derived from the Saxon word for elms. The species name glabra means smooth or hairless, referring to the tree's smooth bark and hairless fruit.
Scotch elm is also called wych elm (pronounced like 'witch') from an Old English word meaning pliant.
There are numerous cultivated varieties of Scotch elm, including the weeping varieties 'Horizontalis' (Tabletop elm) and 'Camperdownii' (Camperdown elm).
Scotch elm's place in Toronto's urban forest
Scotch elm can still be found planted in parks and as a street tree. However, like all elms, it is no longer on the city's planting list because of its susceptibility to Dutch elm disease.
Landscape value and potential for home use
Scotch elm is a very large tree that needs a lot of space to grow.
Pests and diseases: Dutch elm disease is a fungus transported by beetles that arrived in North America in the 1920's and by the 1960's had nearly decimated the native elm population. For more information see Natural Resources Canada factsheet.
Find trees on Tree Tour maps at Canadian Tree Tours: