The Siberian Elm, also known as a Chinese Elm, is native to eastern Asia and was introduce to the United States in the 1860s to be used for its fast growth and hardiness. It commonly functions as a shelter belt or windbreak tree. It is now recognized in areas across the United States as an invasive plant.
What To Look For
- Small to medium size tree and bushy
- Grows up to 30-70 feet tall with trunks up to 32" in diameter
- Leaves are less than 3" long and are dark green in color
- Produces green-like flowers without petals in the Spring. These flowers appear in tight clusters of 2-5 blossoms.
- Fruit from the tree appears flat and circular. These also appear in clusters that are tan in color. Each fruit contains a single seed.
Where It Can Be Found
- Disturbed soil in areas such as pastures or meadows
- It can grow in poor soil and with low moisture
- Commonly seen near road-sides and on prairies
- It is drought and cold resistant, which allows it to grow in areas other trees cannot
Map of Siberian Elm territory in the US. (Courtesy of https://www.eddmaps.org)
- The large amount of seeds each tree produces can be easily spread by the wind, which allows it to spread quickly.
- Since it can spread quickly, it can take over a disturbed prairie in as little as a few years, if it is not maintained.
- It forms dense thickets and disturbs native vegetation. This can reduce vegetation for livestock and wild animals.
Vegetation management is required to eliminate this invasive species. Using a mechanical solution, such as Diamond’s Skid-Steer Rotary Mower or Forestry Mulcher, is fast, efficient, and extremely effective.
Watch the Diamond Skid-Steer Forestry Disc Mulcher in Action below: