Dutch elm

The Dutch elm is a hybrid of the Wych elm and the field elm. The tree can grow more than 30 meters high.

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recognize Dutch elm
Dutch elm, photo: Ronnie Nijboer - CC0 Public domain
  • The Dutch elm is non-toxic, leaves and inner bark are edible. However, long-term exposure to elm sawdust (forestry) can cause hypersensitivity.

Dutch elm(Ulmus ×hollandica), a hybrid of the Wych elm (Ulmus glabra) and the field elm (Ulmus minor). The tree can grow more than 30 meters high. The bark is grooved. The leaf has two unequal halves. The Dutch elm is susceptible to the Dutch elmdisease.

A well-known cultivar of the Dutch elm is the Ulmus Hollandica Wredei Golden Elm (Ulmus × hollandica ‘Wredei’).

Recognize Ulmus Hollandica Wredei Golden Elm
Ulmus Hollandica Wredei Golden Elm, photo: Wouter Hagens – CC0 public domain


Recognize foraging on elm
Characteristic zigzag pattern on elm leaf, photo: Dr. Oldekop – CC0 public domain

Zigzag pattern in leaf: Elm zigzag sawfly (Aproceros leucopoda).

recognizing cockchafer
Cockchafer with wings unfolded, photo: Mario Sarto – CC BY-SA 3.0

Adult cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha) eats leaves and flowers: cockchafer. Cockchafers can become a nuisance and eat entire trees bare.

Fungi & diseases

Branches wilt, die, then the whole tree dies: Dutch elm disease.

Recognize coral spot (Nectria cinnabarina)
Coral spot, photo: Pethan – CC BY-SA 3.0

Small, orange-red raised spots appear on affected branches, which can be either dead or living branches: Coral spot (Nectria cinnabarina).


Woodpeckers are often found on elms, sometimes causing damage by making nest cavities in often young elms.