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Elm tree appearance wood uses and lumber

Elm trees are very common throughout Europe. The scientific name of the elm tree is ulmus glabra and is part of the ulmaceae family. Elm trees have been plagued with a horrible disease. It was fist discovered in the Netherlands but did the most damage to English elm trees. More then twelve million elm trees in England died by the Dutch elm disease. It did have a big impact on the species but luckily there are still many elm trees left.

elm trees plagued with dutch elm disease

Elm tree, leaf and fruit description

elm tree leaves and seedsElm trees can grow to heights up to 130 feet or 40 meters. The tree is classed deciduous and won't have leaves from the end of autumn to early spring.

Elm leaves are arranged alternate elliptic to oblong shaped. This tree has nice leaves that can reach lengths up to 8 inches or 20 cm and vary in color from light green to yellow in autumn.

The elm tree has smooth round seeds surrounded by a membranous wing. These fruits hang in big clusters on the tree branches and can easily be carried by a small breeze of wind.


Elm tree bark and trunk

Yong elm trees have smooth grey bark. When the tree gets older the bark gets more fissured and covered in moss or other green organisms. The trunk of the elm tree is not long and splits into many branches. The diameter of the trunk depends on the age of the tree. Old trees that have been spared from the Dutch elm disease can have trunks with a diameter up to 5 feet or 1.5 meters.


Elm wood properties and durability

Fresh elm heartwood has a medium yellow to dark brown color. Sapwood is lighter and more white yellow colored. Exposure to sunlight gives both wood types a darker color. Elm wood is known for its coarse medium uneven and interlocked texture, strong elastic properties and moderate strength. The average dried weight of the wood at a moisture content of 12% is 680 kg per cubic meter. The durability of elm wood is classed as V low durability.


Elm wood working tips and uses

elm trees wood usesElm wood nails, screws, glues, and works well both by hand or machine. Sharp tools are advised because the wood is moderate hard.

Elm wood is difficult to split therefore pre drilling is often not needed when screws or nails are used. Elm wood is used in a wide range of products like

  • flooring,
  • turned articles
  • sculptures
  • in-house furniture
  • veneer
  • sports equipment
  • musical instruments
  • and more

More elm tree pictures!