American or Dutch elm in Colorado

Asked August 31, 2015, 5:48 PM EDT

I was recently told that an elm tree on my property is an American elm and is protected; i.e., cannot be removed. I see this particular elm ALL OVER the Denver area and it sends out seeds every year that begin new trees all over my property. I pull them as they are everywhere.
I have looked for identifying characteristics - CLEAR ones - on this site as well as on the Internet to no avail. I cannot tell what is an American elm, a Dutch elm, how to tell the difference, which one is protected, and what I can do or not do with the giant elm tree on my property

Please give all of us lots of information on the elms we typically see in the Denver area, which ones are protected by law (as this tree person insisted), and how to tell the difference between American and Dutch elm - with pictures, not drawings.

Denver County Colorado trees and shrubs elm trees

4 Responses

Hi there,

The most common elms in Denver are American Elm and Siberian Elm

Dutch Elm is not common and is a cross between Smoothleaf Elm and Scotch/Wych Elm. Dutch elm disease however is of major concern and killed many American Elms.

Here are some good links to identify American Elm:

I would contact Denver Forestry for any street tree restrictions:

Whenever working a tree care professional , we recommend working with a certified arborist. You can find one through one of these organizations:

Perhaps I did not make my question clear.

Are American Elms a protected tree on any level?

Can a person remove an American elm from their property?

Please answer these questions with a yes or no and be completely clear.
Thank you.

Are American Elms a protected tree?

Can I remove an American elm from my property in Denver, CO?

Hi there,

I have a call into Denver Forestry to get your answer. I will let you know as soon as I hear back. Denver Forestry is the regulatory agency that handles these issues. Here is their website and contact information in case you would also like to reach out: