Forest cultivation: Mountain elm

Forest cultivation: Mountain elm

Classification, origin and diffusion

Division: Spermatophyta
Subdivision: Angiospermae
Class: Dicotyledones
Family: Ulmaceae

Mountain elm is a plant of European origin. It is found throughout Europe, from Northern Spain to Scandinavia, to the Balkans up to the Ural mountains.In Italy it is widespread in the Alps and the Apennines, in mixed deciduous forests, from the hill to the mountain (up to about 1,300 meters above sea level).

Mountain elm leaf (photo Paul Fontaine

Mountain elm fruits (photo Paul Fontaine

General characteristics

Size and bearing
It can reach 30 meters in height. It has a dense and broad crown.
Trunk and bark
The trunk is straight and has a rind, first smooth and greyish, then wrinkled, gray-brown, cracked and furrowed vertically.
Alternate, deciduous, with a short petiole, elliptical obovate, with doubly toothed margin; the upper page is rough and dark green, the lower one pale and hairy.
Reproductive structures
The bisexual flowers appear before the leaves, numerous, small in size and with a short peduncle; the stigmas are forked, plumose and the stamens end in showy red-violet anthers. The fruits are samare of about 3x2 centimeters, with seed placed in the center


Timber, not particularly valuable, is used in construction works. The mountain elm is also used as an ornamental tree in private and public greenery (less than the field elm).

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