If you are interested in buying or browsing American Elm Trees in Helotes or San Antonio, Wilson Landscape has an impressive stock of all sizes and shapes of trees. We grow all of our trees from acorns and seeds and only use the best fertilizers. We have beautiful American Elm Trees to choose from. We specialize in tree growing, and we only grown native and well adapted Texas trees, so you can be sure they will flourish. Best of all, Glenn and Sherry are plant experts and would love to answer any and all questions and concerns  about your specific tree needs. Our knowledge is something that is hard to find.  Come on in or give us a call today! 
(210) 695-2703

American Elm

Ulmus americana

Top 20 Shade Trees for San Antonio!

Custom Plant Information by Wilson Landscape Nursery & Florist- Helotes, Texas

Welcome to Wilson's—We are glad you came our way!

# 7—American Elm (Ulmus americana)

You have come to a great tree in your search! We at Wilson's hope that you find this plant information to be helpful and interesting. Let us know if we can help you further as you search for that special tree. Our information is based upon decades of loving trees, learning about trees, growing trees, maintaining trees, talking about trees, selling trees. planting trees, watching trees grow, enjoying the beauty of trees and being grateful to God for creating trees!

“The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.” “And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 2:9; 1:12)

Strengths and Weaknesses Listed
All trees have weaknesses and strengths. In order to thoroughly evaluate a tree, you should consider both. Let me begin by offering some strengths of American Elm and then I will describe some weaknesses. You will be happy to discover that this trees strengths overcome its weaknesses! In fact, from our viewpoint, American Elm makes our "Top Twenty" list.  But perhaps, it will become your number #1 choice.

American Elm History

American Elm is an absolutely beautiful tree. It was once the most widely planted tree along city streets, especially in the mid-west and northeast  in the 1800's. It was so abundantly planted that it lined many streets creating beautiful tunneled roadways. Then, in the 1930's a terrible  disease called Dutch Elm Disease made its way to the U.S.A. It came by elm bark beetles from Asia. By the 1950's hundreds of thousands of American Elms had died.  By 1989 it is estimated that 77 million elms were lost. It spread through the root systems of closely planted trees when the roots fused/ grafted together.  The trees that lined city streets had intertwining root systems that made this possible. It was also spread  by elm bark beetles. The story sounds similar to how Oak Wilt has attacked  and spread through Live Oak trees. 

Strength: Disease Resistant American Elms

 Because of Dutch elm disease American Elm is seldom planted even though it is one of the most beautiful and majestic of all trees. Many are not aware that great advances have been made in American Elm varieties that are now resistant to the disease.  In addition,  it is important to keep in mind that Dutch elm disease was never a problem down in the San Antonio area, but the scare of it spreading  caused some growers to stop propagating making availability scarce.  Our native Cedar Elm has shown itself to be relatively safe from Dutch elm disease.  As for Dutch elm disease in Texas, the Dallas-Fort Worth and Waco areas have had a few documented cases of Dutch elm disease since the year 2000, but there have been no widespread outbreaks. There have been no documented cases of  Dutch elm disease in the San Antonio area.  Three disease resistant varieties, among others,  are 'Jefferson,' 'Princeton,' and 'Valley Forge.'

Strength: American Elms Native To Texas

American Elms are very much native to Texas though not in the immediate  San Antonio area. The Elm tree that is native to our area is  the Cedar Elm. Cedar Elm's leaves are much smaller but look exactly like the leaves of American Elm.   I have seen beautiful, large American Elms growing  in the San Antonio area that were planted years ago. They look impressive! One of the most beautiful areas  I have seen  American Elms growing native is in Colorado Bend State Park where beautiful  Gormon Falls is located. If you walk along the Colorado river  valley down from the falls you will see beautiful native American Elm trees growing.

Strength: Large Attractive Leaves and Growing Habit

American Elm  has large, lush,  green leaves up to six inches long. The leaves are nice and uniform  with distinctive toothed edges like a Chinkapin Oak or a Beech.   In addition,  it  has a very graceful growing habit with somewhat of a vase shape when younger and developing into a large spreading tree up to 60'feet tall and even wider than its height.  This is why it was chosen by so many urban planners as the choice tree for street plantings in the past.

Strength: Fast Grower Yet Long Lived

Not too many trees grow fast and yet live long. The American Elm can reach 300 years old. You can leave a legacy for your great grandchildren and your neighborhood by planting of of these. You can expect three to six feet of growth per year making it one of the fastest growing quality trees you can plant.

Strength: Great Shade Tree

This is a wonderful shade tree that offers the large spreading form of an old majestic  Live Oak coupled with larger brighter green leaves.

Strength: A Tough Survivor

American Elm has been grown successfully from the Deep South to the far Northern Plains. It is definitely a tough survivor.

All trees have weaknesses and strengths. In order to thoroughly evaluate a tree, you should consider both. You will be happy to discover that this trees strengths overcome its weaknesses!

Weakness: The Dutch Elm Disease Scare

In spite of there being no documented cases of Dutch elm disease in the San Antonio area, and in spite of Cedar Elms resistance to the disease, some professionals might still frown upon planting American Elm for fear that Dutch elm disease might spread from an American Elm to a Cedar Elm and then to other Cedar Elms.  This is somewhat like  those who  are no longer willing to plant a Texas Red Oak or a Live Oak for fear that it will enable Oak wilt to spread even more.  We, however, believe that eliminating such a beautiful tree is not the answer, especially when American Elm has proved to be successfully grown in the San Antonio area with only positive results. Until any reasonable danger in our immediate area can be established we should not deprive ourselves of this beautiful shade tree.

American Elm For Sale At Wilson's
Each year we usually have a good supply of American Elms. Typically these are sold as 5 gallon, 15 gallon, 30 gallon and 45 gallon. Larger trees are occasionally available as well. 

A Blessing For You
We hope that this plant information helps you as you search for that perfect tree. Whichever tree you choose, may it bring you many years of beauty and peace.

May you and your tree be “like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.” (Psalm 1:3)


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