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Elm Tree Leaves

Useful Tips on How to Identify Elm Tree Leaves and Their Diseases

The following article presents before us a short account of information about the leaves of the elm tree. Along with information of American elm leaves, descriptions of the leaves of Chinese elms is also given below.
Shashank Nakate
Last Updated: Jul 28, 2017
The elm tree originated in what is today's central Asia. The elm tree (a deciduous tree in nature) grows in a variety of climatic conditions. It, however, flourished in the northern hemisphere as well as in the equatorial region. The elm tree is included under the Ulmaceae genus, known for its hermaphroditic reproductive system.
Leaves of Elm Trees
To those who need to know what elm tree leaves look like, an elliptical/oval shape should be kept in mind. There are many other signs that one can use in identifying elm leaves, which can be found in the paragraph below.
Leaves of the elm have a single/double serrated margin. The base of elm leaves have an asymmetrical shape. The apex of these leaves, on the other hand, is acuminate. In order to identify an elm leaf, one should check whether it is 4 to 6 inches in length; the width has to be 1 to 3 inches. American elms have leaves with an elliptical to oval shape; with sizes that vary from one tree to the other. The veins of elm leaves originate from the midrib and spread to the sides. Leaves of this plant turn golden-yellow in color during the fall season. The upper part of elm leaves have a rough surface, and don't have pubescence hair. The lower part/underside of these leaves have growth of tiny and soft hair.
Slippery Elm Leaves
This elm tree is known to possess one of the largest leaves; as much as 7 inches in length and 3 inches in width. Both, the ventral and dorsal part of leaves have a rough texture. The leaves of other elms, like are the Winged Elm, the Rock Elm, and the Cedar Elm are smaller in size.
Chinese Elm Tree Leaves
Chinese elm trees can grow up to a height of 60 feet. The leaves of these plants are oval in shape. Margins of the leaves are toothed/serrated. The color of Chinese elm leaves is rich green and the texture is leathery.
Diseases Affecting Elm Leaves
The leaves of Chinese elms are subject to many different pathological, pest-related, and physiological problems. Most of these problems cause yellowing of leaves. Let us understand more about elm leaf diseases through following paragraphs.
Leaf Aphid Damage
Leaf aphids are amongst many different causes of yellowing of elm leaves. These insects are known to suck the sap out of elm leaves and other tender parts of the plant. The result of this sucking is the formation of leaves that are curled and yellow in color. A honeydew-like substance is secreted by these aphids as they feed on leaves. A sooty black mold is developed on leaves as a result of this secretion.
Dutch Elm Disease
This is again a disease which causes yellowing of leaves. Causal organism of the Dutch Elm disease is Ophiostoma ulmi. Apart from yellowing and wilting, the leaves also get curled. The leaves may also attain a brown color. Watering the plant adequately in summer season (when water requirement is high) should help overcome this problem.
Leaf Burn
The leaf burn is a physiological problem which occurs in Chinese elm trees. Excessive sunlight is the cause of leaf burn; this condition is, therefore, also known as sunburn. Leaf burns lead to the yellowing of elm leaves. Regular irrigation and avoiding over pruning should help overcome the problem of leaf burn.
Now, as you know the ways to identify elm tree leaves, it will not be difficult to spot this tree in a group of many other species. Hope the information given above was helpful and enriching.
Close up of leafs from a Chinese elm
Dutch Elm Disease
Elm aphid galls
Bonsai summer elm tree
Autumn elm leafs