Audubon® American Elm
In stock and ready to ship
Bring back the majestic American Elm! This iconic shade tree was hit hard by Dutch Elm disease, but it was not knocked out. Survivors remain, and you can grow a seedling yourself and be a part of the effort to restore this species to greatness. Birders will be especially motivated to take part when they learn how beneficial this tree is to birds! Finches, chickadees, sparrows, and grosbeaks relish the seeds, and songbirds of all sorts rely on the caterpillar-protein its foliage supports. In fact, American Elm feeds up to 171 different species of moth and butterfly caterpillars, making it a top stop for birds!
May Benefit & Attract: Finches, thrushes, chickadees, sparrows, and grosbeaks
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
Size AA (2-3' tall) container grown
Size B (8-9' tall) container grown
- Hardiness Zone: 4-8
- Show more ›
Grand old American Elms once lined our streets, their lofty, arching canopies meeting overhead and casting cooling shade below. In the 1930s, an accidentally imported disease began killing these gentle giants. By the 1950s and ’60s, millions of trees had died. But not all! Contrary to what many people believe, some American Elms were able to survive. The two largest survivors live in Baltimore, Maryland, and Chesapeake, Virginia. The Maryland tree is 112 feet tall and 84 feet wide; the Virginia specimen is 110 feet by 116 feet. Both have trunks that are more than six feet in diameter.
If they don’t become bird food, the caterpillars that feed on your American Elm Tree may become beautiful butterflies to grace your garden. Look for red spotted purples, mourning cloaks, question marks, and commas. Many of the moths this tree hosts are interesting and lovely, too, such as the elm sphinx, the large lace border, the crocus geometer, the io, and the cecropia moth. Those cute, fuzzy, banded woolly bear caterpillars also feed on Elm.
How to Grow
Give American Elm a position in full sun in deep, fertile, well-drained soil. Water regularly and mulch with wood chips or bark to keep the rootzone cool and moist. This is not a fussy tree, and it will grow in less-than-ideal conditions, but because of the continued threat of Dutch Elm disease, it should not be subjected to any unnecessary stresses. Your tree may be resistant to the disease, but it may not be immune. In good conditions, American Elm is a fast-growing tree, and it will get right to work creating choice bird habitat and cooling shade.
This graphic shows the approximate size and form of the Tree you are viewing.
Size B Trees:
8-9' tall, grown and delivered in a container. This tree is BIG! A truck or trailer will be needed to bring this spectacular native home to your landscape.
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