Is this an American Elm and should it be saved?

Asked June 5, 2018, 10:14 AM EDT

We have a tree growing into our deck. My husband thinks it is an American Elm and does not want to cut it down. We grew up in the era when all elms were doomed by Dutch Elm disease. (Those vines around the lower trunk are wild grape leaves) So my two questions are (1) is this an American Elm? and (2) Are they endangered, ie, should we go to extreme measures (like tearing out and rebuilding the deck around it) to save it? Thanks

Eaton County Michigan

1 Response

It’s quite difficult to tell the differences between the varieties of the three. Chinese, Siberians and American Elms. The American is the largest standing taller than the other two although the the Siberian is wider than the American. I the interest of saving time I will refer to them as AE, CE and SE. Leaf differences between the three are CE = somewhat less than 3 Inches, SE = 2 inches wit AE = somewhat more than 4”. Bark differences are more dramatic in the case of CE which has quite a beautiful appearance with the other two maintaining with regular bark appearance as with regular trees. SE is a limb shedder of small twigs and leaves with little notice and is otherwise known as a Trashy tree. (What is your tree doing at the moment). AE and SE also shed lots of Samara (Seeds or whirley birds) (Look bark up on the Lace Bark Tree (CE) on Google and add: .edu in your search phrase. And you’ll find the evidence here is quite startling.) Americans thought they getting a good deal when the SE was first introduced as a street tree many years ya ago AND it was introduced as the CE. Rather spurious at best don’t you think? So I rather think the you’ll find you’ve been raising the wrong tree. You be the Judge in this circumstance. What do you have based on the evidence? Thank you for using the Ask an Expert System.