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Wych Elm

Ulmus glabra

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Contents

Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Order:
Rosales
Family:
Ulmaceae (Elm)
Type:
Deciduous tree
Life Cycle:
Perennial
Maximum Size:
40 metres tall
Habitats:
Ditches, gardens, hedgerows, parks, riversides, waterside, woodland.

Flower:
֍
Red, no petals
 
The blossoms of the Wych Elm, native to the United Kingdom, are a captivating sight to behold. These small, inconspicuous flowers dangle gracefully from the tree's branches, forming delicate clusters that sway gently in the breeze. Cloaked in subtle shades of green and brown, these unassuming flowers may not immediately catch the eye, but they play a crucial role in the tree's life cycle. They provide nourishment to pollinators, like bees and butterflies, with their nectar and pollen, contributing to the biodiversity of the UK's woodlands. Although often overshadowed by the tree's majestic presence, the Wych Elm's unpretentious flowers are a vital component of the enchanting tapestry of nature that graces the British landscape.
Fruit:
A winged fruit, pale green and with a notched end. Each winged fruit contains a single seed in its centre. The winged fruit are known as 'samara's' and reach a maximum of 1cm across. The samara's turn brown later in the year.
Leaves:
A deciduous shrub or tree. Alternate and oval leaves with pointed tips. Dark green and sharp-pointed serrations around the margins of the leaves. The Wych Elm has larger leaves than those of other Elm species. The texture of the leaf is similar to sandpaper. All Elm trees have asymmetrical leaf bases.
Aroma:
The fragrance of the Wych Elm, found in the verdant woodlands of the United Kingdom, is a delicate and enchanting symphony of nature. As one draws near to its graceful branches, a subtle, earthy aroma graces the senses, evoking the essence of the forest floor. It carries hints of damp moss, woody undertones, and the sweet scent of blooming wildflowers nearby. This distinctive fragrance, unique to the UK's woodlands, adds to the allure of the Wych Elm and its silent, serene presence in the British countryside.
Other Names:
European Mountain Elm, Mountain Elm, Scots Elm, Scottish Elm, Wych Hazel.
Frequency (UK):
Common  

Other Information

Summary

Ulmus glabra, also known as the wych elm or Scotch elm, is a species of deciduous tree native to Europe and Asia. It is a large tree that can grow up to 35 meters (115 feet) in height, with a rounded crown and long, arching branches. The leaves of Ulmus glabra are oval-shaped, with a serrated edge and a dark green upper surface. The tree produces small, greenish flowers in the spring, which give way to small, winged seeds in the fall. Ulmus glabra is known for its strong wood, which was once used to make furniture, ships, and other products. Today, it is often grown as an ornamental tree in gardens and parks due to its attractive form and beautiful autumn foliage. It is generally easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions.

Blog

Wych Elm: A Majestic Tree with a Rich History

Wych Elm, or Ulmus glabra in scientific terms, is a species of elm tree that is native to Europe and Asia. This deciduous tree is known for its stunning beauty and versatility, making it a popular choice for landscaping and urban forestry projects.

The wych elm has a rounded, spreading crown with a trunk that can reach up to three meters in diameter. Its leaves are oval-shaped, with serrated edges and a rough texture on the top. They range in color from dark green to yellow, depending on the season. In the spring, the tree produces inconspicuous flowers that give way to tiny seed pods, known as samaras, in the fall.

One of the most distinctive features of the wych elm is its bark, which is gray-brown in color and deeply furrowed. This bark is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also provides an important habitat for many species of birds, insects, and lichens.

The wych elm is a hardy tree that can grow in a variety of soils and climates, making it a versatile choice for landscaping and urban forestry projects. It can also tolerate exposure to urban pollutants, making it a popular choice for cities.

The history of the wych elm is rich and fascinating. This tree was once widely used for furniture making, as the wood is strong, durable, and resistant to decay. During World War II, wych elm was used to make torpedo casings and other military equipment, further adding to its historical significance.

However, the wych elm also has a dark history. In the 1940s, the species was devastated by Dutch elm disease, a fungal infection that swept across Europe and decimated populations of elm trees. Despite efforts to save the species, many stands of wych elm were destroyed, and the tree became a rare sight in the landscape.

Today, the wych elm is making a comeback. Thanks to breeding programs and the development of disease-resistant cultivars, this majestic tree is once again a common sight in parks, gardens, and urban forests.

In conclusion, the wych elm is a magnificent tree that deserves recognition for its beauty, versatility, and rich history. Whether you are a landscaper, urban forester, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of nature, this tree is a must-see.

Wych Elm: A Resilient Tree with a Strong Cultural Significance

Wych elm has a special place in the hearts of many people, as it has been a part of the landscape and cultural heritage for centuries. In the UK, wych elm has been associated with folklore and legend, and is often mentioned in traditional folk songs and stories. The tree has also been used for medicinal purposes, as the bark, leaves, and twigs were believed to have healing properties.

Aside from its cultural significance, the wych elm is also a resilient tree that can adapt to a wide range of environmental conditions. It can grow in a variety of soils, including those that are wet or poorly drained, and can withstand exposure to strong winds, heavy rainfall, and other challenging weather conditions. This resilience makes it a popular choice for planting in areas where other trees may struggle to thrive.

Wych elm is also an important food source for wildlife, including birds, squirrels, and rabbits. The tree's leaves provide nourishment for many species of caterpillar, which in turn provides food for birds such as the hawfinch, goldcrest, and redstart. The tree's seeds are also a valuable food source for small mammals and birds.

In terms of horticulture, the wych elm is relatively low maintenance, requiring little pruning or shaping. Its hardiness and resilience make it an excellent choice for parks, streetscapes, and other public spaces, where it can provide shade and aesthetic beauty for generations to come.

In conclusion, the wych elm is a magnificent tree that has a strong cultural significance and a rich history. Its resilience, beauty, and versatility make it a popular choice for landscaping and urban forestry projects, and its importance as a food source for wildlife adds to its ecological value. Whether you are a horticulturist, forester, or simply someone who loves nature, the wych elm is a tree worth discovering and appreciating.

Wych Elm: A Tree with a Unique Character

Wych elm is a tree that stands out from the crowd. Not only is it aesthetically beautiful, but it also has a unique character that makes it a beloved part of the landscape.

One of the things that makes wych elm so special is its unusual branching pattern. The tree's branches tend to grow outwards and upwards, creating a rounded, spreading crown that provides ample shade. This branching pattern is not found in other species of elm, making the wych elm a truly unique tree.

Another characteristic of the wych elm is its ability to withstand harsh conditions. Unlike other trees that may struggle to survive in areas with heavy winds or exposure to pollutants, the wych elm is able to adapt and thrive. This resilience makes it a popular choice for planting in urban areas, where it can provide an attractive and functional addition to the streetscape.

In addition to its resilience and unique branching pattern, the wych elm is also known for its attractive autumn foliage. As the leaves change color, the tree is transformed into a brilliant display of golden yellow, orange, and red. This spectacular show of color is not only beautiful to behold, but it also provides an important source of food for wildlife during the winter months.

The wych elm is also an important part of our natural heritage, and its presence in the landscape has been an important part of our cultural history for centuries. The tree's strong, durable wood was once used for furniture making and other practical purposes, and its cultural significance is still remembered today.

In conclusion, the wych elm is a tree with a unique character that sets it apart from other species. Its resilience, beauty, and cultural significance make it a valuable addition to the landscape, and its unusual branching pattern, autumn foliage, and importance as a food source for wildlife further enhance its ecological value. If you are looking for a tree that has it all, look no further than the magnificent wych elm.

Wych Elm: A Tree with a Rich History

The wych elm has a rich history that spans thousands of years. Its presence in the landscape has been documented for centuries, and it has been an important part of many cultures and civilizations.

In the UK, the wych elm has been associated with folklore and legend, and is often mentioned in traditional folk songs and stories. The tree's strong, durable wood was once used for furniture making and other practical purposes, and its cultural significance is still remembered today.

The wych elm also played a crucial role in the history of plant science. In the late 1930s, a new strain of Dutch elm disease swept through Europe, killing millions of elm trees. However, the wych elm was found to be resistant to the disease, and many trees were saved thanks to their resistance. Today, the wych elm is still valued for its resistance to Dutch elm disease, making it an important species for the preservation of our urban forest.

Aside from its cultural significance, the wych elm is also an important part of our natural heritage. The tree provides habitat for a wide range of wildlife, including birds, insects, and small mammals, and its leaves, bark, and twigs are used by many species as a food source. This makes the wych elm an essential part of the ecosystem, and an important contributor to the health of our natural environment.

In conclusion, the wych elm is a tree with a rich history that spans thousands of years. Its cultural significance, resistance to Dutch elm disease, and ecological importance make it a valuable species that deserves our attention and respect. Whether you are interested in its cultural heritage, scientific significance, or its role in the ecosystem, the wych elm is a tree that is truly worth discovering.

Wych Elm: A Tree for All Seasons

The wych elm is a tree that provides beauty and value throughout the year. With its unique branching pattern, attractive autumn foliage, and importance as a food source for wildlife, the wych elm is a tree that truly has it all.

In spring, the wych elm comes to life with a burst of new growth, with fresh green leaves appearing on its branches. This is also the time when the tree produces its small, green flowers, which provide an important source of nectar for pollinators like bees and butterflies.

In summer, the tree provides ample shade and a cool, green oasis in the landscape. Its broad, spreading crown is perfect for picnics, outdoor activities, and other outdoor events, and its leaves provide a lush, green backdrop for the warm, sunny days of summer.

In autumn, the wych elm puts on a spectacular show of color, with its leaves turning golden yellow, orange, and red. This brilliant display of color is not only beautiful to behold, but it also provides an important source of food for wildlife during the winter months.

And in winter, the wych elm's unique branching pattern takes center stage, providing an interesting and striking silhouette against the sky. The tree's strong, durable branches are also a valuable source of food and shelter for wildlife, making it an important part of the ecosystem even in the depths of winter.

In conclusion, the wych elm is a tree that provides beauty and value for all seasons. Whether you are looking for a tree to provide shade, beauty, or ecological value, the wych elm is a tree that truly has it all.


Video

Wych Elm filmed at the following places:
  • Duxbury Woods, Lancashire: 1st October 2023
  • Worthington Lakes, Lancashire: 15th April 2023
  • Adlington, Lancashire: 9th September 2023
 

Music credits
AngloZulu - The Dark Contenent by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100411
Artist: http://incompetech.com/

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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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