Red Elm (Ulmus rubra)


Red Elm, also known as Slippery Elm, is a medium sized deciduous tree that is commonly found in medium moisture, well-drained sites.  It tolerates both wet and dry sites and can tolerate urban conditions. It thrives in the full sun but can tolerate light shade conditions. Red Elm is distinguished from other elms by its downy twigs, red-hairy buds and slimy red inner bark. It has many benefits to wildlife including nesting and thermal cover for various birds, food for songbirds, game birds and squirrels, and browsing material for deer and rabbits. The wood is used to manufacture boxes, baskets, crates and barrels. The Native Americans valued various parts of the Red Elm for building and medicinal purposes. The Red Elm reaches a height of 40-60′ and a spread of 30-50′. Zone 3.


Map courtesy of the USDA-NRCS Plant Database.

Additional information

Scientific Name

Prunus besseyi






Grayish green

Fall Foliage


Native to

Great Plains Region



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