Wych Elm

Ulmus glabra


Wych Elm is rarely found as a tree and is more common as a hedgerow shrub. This is a likely result of the ravaging effects of a recent wave of Dutch elm disease which has affected all the UK's elms, killing many mature trees and preventing new trees from growing. Mature Wych Elms can be found in woods, often alongside streams and mainly in upland areas. It is one of the few elms to spread mainly by seed, instead of propagating clones from root suckers.

How to identify

Elms can be recognised by their asymmetrical oval leaves, toothed around the edges, with very short stalks, as well as their winged fruit. Wych Elm has longer leaves than other elms, with a narrow tip.

Where to find it

Widespread, commonest in the north and west.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

During the late 20th century, our elms were devastated by outbreaks of Dutch elm disease - a lethal fungus that is spread from tree to tree by bark-beetles. Many mature trees have been lost, but elms still cling on, in part due to their ability to easily form new varieties and reproduce by both seed and sucker. The Wildlife Trusts work with researchers, scientists and other conservationists to monitor changes in our native wildlife to determine the effects of environmental issues. Support your local Trust today and help us to continue this vital work.

Species information

Common name
Wych Elm
Latin name
Ulmus glabra
Trees and shrubs
Height: up to 30m
Conservation status