Plymouth Phil's picture

Ulmus procera, English Elm, Plymouth hedgerow

Observed: 20th June 2013 By: Plymouth PhilPlymouth Phil’s reputation in PlantsPlymouth Phil’s reputation in PlantsPlymouth Phil’s reputation in PlantsPlymouth Phil’s reputation in Plants
Ulmus procera, English Elm, Plymouth, Sandy Road, upper side of leaf
Ulmus procera, English Elm, Plymouth, Sandy Road, underside of leaf

A common shrub or small tree in this area, normally dying of Dutch Elm disease when about 6m high. This elm was not part of a managed hedge.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which English Elm (Ulmus procera) interacts


ulmusenthu's picture

elm in plymouth

Dear Plymouth Phil,

The elm you found is NOT Ulmus procera, but possibly Ulmus minor var cornubiensis (Cornish elm) which has antural range with it's furthest point east being at Plymouth. I have worked with Ulmus for 27 years and have both mature and sucker size examples here in Brighton & Hove. This species is now very scarce as a mature tree.

Ulmus's picture

Elm in Plymouth

The buckled appearance of the leaf is typical of English elm and not characteristic of Cornish elm. I agree with the original identification.

Plymouth Phil's picture


My knowledge of elms has mainly come from an article by Max Coleman in British Wildlife, August 2002. Max has helped me, for which I thank him, by looking at several specimens that I have sent him and either confirming or determining their ID.


martinjohnbishop's picture

Leaf width/length ratio

is not easy to measure accurately from a photograph. Some leaves appear considerably longer than wide and others do not. Perhaps you can provide data?

Plymouth Phil's picture

Leaf width/length ratios

I agree with you, Martin, that the terminal leaflets especially look to be longer than wide.
Perhaps I am being amateurish and naive and getting out of my depth here. If the short summer shoots have leaves which are <7 cm, are rough on the upper surface and are approximately orbicular in shape, I have called them Ulmus procera. In looking at the leaf shape, I tend to disregard the apex of the leaf, which is often drawn out somewhat, making a basically orbicular leaf appear ovate.

...but I do not have a great expertise in these matters and stand to be corrected!

martinjohnbishop's picture

I am no expert

Just tried to follow the key in Stace. The roughness and orbicular shape in some leaves suggests that you are correct. I have agreed.