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Common Name:

Siberian Elm

Scientific Name:

Ulmus pumila

Family Name:



Siberian Elm is a medium to large size deciduous tree. It is much maligned for its poor growth form, susceptibility to cotton root rot, wet wood and general tendency to be short-lived. It is perhaps the toughest of the elms in adverse conditions and is one of the few trees suitable for planting in some regions of the Great Plains. It's use should be reserved for situations where better trees are not adapted.

Plant Habit or Use:

Medium tree, large tree



Flower Color:


Blooming Period:

Spring, winter

Fruit Characteristics:

Winged samara


variable, 30 ft to 50 ft


30 ft to 50 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: Medium Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Low Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Valued for its environmental adaptability, DED resistance, and phloem necrosis resistance in breeding programs, but unfortunately brings many genetic limitations to the table as well.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.