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Ulmus pumila - L.

Common Name Siberian Elm, Hybrid elm
Family Ulmaceae
USDA hardiness 4-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry sandy or stony soils, pebbles of river valleys, slopes and occasionally on rocks[74]. Slopes, valleys and plains at elevations of 1000 - 2500 metres[266].
Range E. Asia - China, E. Siberia, Turkestan.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Ulmus pumila Siberian Elm, Hybrid elm


commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Bruce_Marlin
Ulmus pumila Siberian Elm, Hybrid elm
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Luis_Fernández_García

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Green. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Vase.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Ulmus pumila is a deciduous Tree growing to 15 m (49ft) by 12 m (39ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in May. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy; Secondary;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Inner bark  Leaves
Edible Uses:

Leaves - raw or cooked[105, 177, 183]. Used as a potherb[218]. Inner bark - cooked. It can be dried and made into noodles[105, 177, 183]. The dried inner bark can also be ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups or added to cereal flours when making bread etc. Fruit - raw or cooked[105, 177]. Used when immature, it can be made into a sauce and a wine[183]. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter[200].

Medicinal Uses

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Antibilious  Antidote  Demulcent  Diuretic  Febrifuge  Lenitive  Lithontripic  Poultice


The leaves are diuretic and febrifuge[218]. They are used as a pot herb and are then said to be antibilious, antidote and lithontripic[218]. The stem bark is demulcent, diuretic, febrifuge and lenitive[218]. It is mixed with oil and vinegar then used as a poultice on abscesses, mastitis and swellings[218].

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Other Uses

Fibre  Shelterbelt  Wood

A coarse cloth is made from the inner bark[149]. A fairly wind resistant tree, it can be grown as part of a shelterbelt planting[200]. Wood - hard, heavy, tough, difficult to split. Used for agricultural implements, boat making etc[149].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Windbreak  Fodder: Bank  Industrial Crop: Biomass  Management: Coppice  Management: Standard  Minor Global Crop

Landscape Uses:Firewood, Aggressive surface roots possible. Prefers a fertile soil in full sun[188], but is easily grown in any soil of at least moderate quality so long as it is well drained[1]. Succeeds in a hot dry position[200]. Established plants are drought resistant[11, 200]. Fairly wind-tolerant[200]. This species, or at least some of its cultivars[200], is resistant to 'Dutch elm disease', a disease that has destroyed the greater part of all the elm trees growing in Britain. The disease is spread by means of beetles. 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[200]. 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[200]. Special Features:Not North American native, Invasive, Naturalizing, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Carbon Farming

  • Agroforestry Services: Windbreak  Linear plantings of trees and shrubs designed to enhance crop production, protect people and livestock and benefit soil and water conservation.
  • Fodder: Bank  Fodder banks are plantings of high-quality fodder species. Their goal is to maintain healthy productive animals. They can be utilized all year, but are designed to bridge the forage scarcity of annual dry seasons. Fodder bank plants are usually trees or shrubs, and often legumes. The relatively deep roots of these woody perennials allow them to reach soil nutrients and moisture not available to grasses and herbaceous plants.
  • Industrial Crop: Biomass  Three broad categories: bamboos, resprouting woody plants, and giant grasses. uses include: protein, materials (paper, building materials, fibers, biochar etc.), chemicals (biobased chemicals), energy - biofuels
  • Management: Coppice  Cut to the ground repeatedly - resprouting vigorously. Non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Minor Global Crop  These crops are already grown or traded around the world, but on a smaller scale than the global perennial staple and industrial crops, The annual value of a minor global crop is under $1 billion US. Examples include shea, carob, Brazil nuts and fibers such as ramie and sisal.

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - if sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe, it usually germinates within a few days[200]. Stored seed does not germinate so well and should be sown in early spring[200]. 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[80]. 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[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Expert comment

Author

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Botanical References

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Links / References

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Readers comment

   Thu Apr 26 2007

Siberian Elm is considered an invasive exotic and is destroying natural ecosystems in twenty-four states. For more information see the National Park's "Least Wanted" website http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/ulpu1.htm

Least Wanted Plants - National Parks Service Why Siberian Elm should not be planted in most states.

Dave christensen   Tue Jan 20 2009

I live in northern mn and want to plant siberian elm i am in zone 3 most catalogs say it is hardy to zone 4 . Does anyone have any experience with this hedge?

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