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Siberian Elm

Ulmus pumila Linnaeus
Synonym: Chinese elm

Siberian Elm Siberian Elm
Steve Dewey, Utah State University



Commodities Affected:
Forestry and Natural Areas



Siberian elm is a fast-growing tree that was introduced to the United States in the 1860’s. It is native to northern China, eastern Siberia, Manchuria, and Korea. It is the hardest of all elms and does well even in areas with cold winters and long periods of summer droughts. Because this, Siberian elm tolerates a variety of conditions such as poor soils and low moisture, it is found in dry regions, along roadsides, in pastures and grasslands. Siberian elm is easily grown in any well-drained soil type but prefers well-drained fertile soil. This species prefers full sun and succeeds well in arid regions. The tree also grows in moist soils along streams. It invades dry and mesic prairies, including sand prairies, drought resistant and fairly wind tolerant.



In 100 Years of Change in the Distribution of Common Indiana Weeds by William and Edith Overlease (2002) reported that Siberian elm was not recorded in Indiana in 1899 (Coulter’s Catalogue of Indiana Plants) or in 1940 (Deam’s Flora). In 2002, Overlease observed that Siberian elm “had become locally abundant and can form thickets of young trees.” Siberian elm is found in the following 87 counties in Indiana: Adams, Allen, Bartholomew, Benton, Blackford, Boone, Brown, Carroll, Cass, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, Daviess, Dearborn, Decatur, DeKalb, Delaware, Dubois, Elkhart, Fayette, Floyd, Fountain, Franklin, Fulton, Gibson, Grant, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Harrison,  Hendricks, Henry, Howard, Huntington, Jackson, Jasper, Jay, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Lake, La Porte, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Martin, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Noble, Orange, Owen, Parke, Pike, Porter, Posey, Pulaski, Putnam, Randolph, Ripley, Rush, St. Joseph, Scott, Shelby, Starke, Steuben, Sullivan, Switzerland, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, Wabash, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wells, White, and Whitely.