Winged Elm (Ulmus alata)

  • Usually seen at 40 to 50 feet high, but can reach 90 feet in height in the woods with a 30 to 40-foot spread. Canopy form is variable from pyramidal to vase or rounded.
  • This fast-growing deciduous tree is quickly identified by the corky, wing-like projections which appear on opposite sides of twigs and branches. The size of the wings varies greatly from one tree to another.
  • This is a very adaptable tree for urban planting because it tolerates wet and dry sites and will easily adapt to full sun or partial shade, growing relatively quickly on any soil.
  • It must be pruned regularly at an early age to eliminate double and multiple trunks. (This tree has only been in the ground a couple months and we have already started pruning it.)  It is not an easy tree to train and prune, requiring three or four prunings in the first several years.  But after this initial training period, trees fill in nicely to make a well-adapted, beautiful shade tree.
  • Pruning classes are held during January/February here at the Extension Office for those that wish to learn about proper pruning techniques.

Information Source: Ulmus alata: Winged Elm

Tree Species List


Photos by Alicia Lamborn