Types and Features of Elm Tree Leaves

What does the elm leaf look like?

Here, elm tree leaves will be the focus. As you read through this article, you’ll find detailed information on what these leaves look like and if there are differences in the shape or form of such leaves.

In the end, you should be able to tell the elm species by looking at its leaves.

Elms are large shade trees with mostly serrated leaves. These come in varying species, all having unique features.

For many people, distinguishing between these species seems like an uphill task. It’s due to the such reason we’ve provided a guide on how to identify certain elm tree species.

Types of Elm Trees

Elm trees are pretty varied. It’s necessary to first consider the types before taking a look at their leaves.

Elm tree varieties include Florida elm, American elm, Bosque elm, Chinese elm, Siberian elm, cedar elm, Cherry-Bark elm, Japanese elm, golden wych elm, wych elm, and camper down elm trees.

More varieties include English elm, field elm, Atinia, slippery elm, European white elm, and Dutch elm trees. Why are they all called elms?

They’re called so because they all belong to the same family (Ulmaceae) of trees. With that said, let’s shift our focus back to the topic under discussion.

Elm Tree Leaf Types

How can you tell if a tree is an elm? To begin with, let’s have a general description of elm tree leaves.

Elm tree leaves have a lopsided look because one half of the leaf tends to be shorter than the other. These leaves come with jagged or serrated edges. Plus, green veins can be observed on the leaves.

So do these leaves vary by elm tree type or species? That is what we’ll proceed to find out.

To provide a more comprehensive description, each elm tree type will be mentioned while giving information on how the leaves look.

i. Florida Elm Tree Leaves

This fast-growing elm tree produces ovate leaves with serrated edges.

These dark green leaves measure about 6-inch long. They remain dark green for most of the year and eventually turn yellow before falling. These leave sprout back in spring.

ii. American Elm Tree Leaves

The American elm also bears ovate leaves that measure about 3” to 5.”

Their uneven edges are serrated, the blade surface is smooth, and green veins show them. You’ll find a prominent midrib on the leaves.

These leaves also have an alternate arrangement.

iii. Bosque Elm Tree Leaves

This elm tree species is quite popular in public places like parks.

Its leaves appear golden-red in fall before dropping. These leaves are dark green for most parts of the year. The pointy serrated leaves have an alternate growth pattern.

iv. Chinese Elm Tree Leaves

You’ll find Chinese elm trees with single-toothed margins.

These small, leathery dark green leaves have a glossy texture with alternate arrangements. Leave blades of the Chinese elm measuring about 1” to 2.5” long.

They’re oval-shaped and, like most elms, change color in fall.

v. Siberian Elm Tree Leaves

The Siberian elm tree can be identified by its shiny dark green leaves having serrated edges.

These leaves measure about 3” long and about 1.2” wide. They taper to a pointed tip and are arranged alternately.

vi. Cedar Elm Tree Leaves

Cedar trees tend to have smaller leaves compared to many elm tree species. They measure about 2” long and 0.7” wide.

These sandpaper-like leaves are dark-green but turn yellow in fall. While the upper parts of the leaves are rough, the lower surface and petiole are pubescent.

vii. Cherry-Bark Elm Tree Leaves

Cherry barks can be identified by their oblong, bright green leaves. These tend to be extended with serrated edges. The leaves are about 4” long and 2” wide with pointed tips.

Like most elm tree species, the leaves of the cherry-bark elm turn yellow in fall.

viii. Japanese Elm Tree Leaves

The Japanese Elm tree is known for its oblong-ovate shape with serrated edges.

It measures between 3” and 5” long and 1” to 3” inches wide. These leaves have a rough surface with light green leaves that have different fall colors.

ix. Golden Wych Elm Tree Leaves

Golden wych elm trees bear larger leaves than most elm tree species.

These leaves measure around 16 cm long. These leaves are ovate-shaped with toothed edges that sprout pale yellow in spring. This turns greenish-yellow in summer and finally turns golden yellow in fall.

x. Wych Elm Tree Leaves

Also called the Scotch elm, this tree produces long broad leaves that are ovate-shaped.

In terms of size, wych elm leaves measure around 6.5” long and 5” wide. The leaves have an asymmetrical base and prominent straight veins, sometimes forked.

xi. Camperdown Elm Tree Leaves

Leaves of the Camperdown elm tree can be identified by their broad, double-toothed formation. When touched, they have a rough feel and measure around 6” long.

Camperdown elm tree leaves turn dull yellow in fall.

xii. English Elm Tree Leaves

These almost-oval-shaped leaves have serrated edges while the tip is pointed. You’ll also find such leaves to have asymmetrical bases.

xiii. Field Elm Tree Leaves

Small, leathery leaves recognize field elm trees with asymmetrical bases. They’re smooth to the touch and have an ovate shape. Field elm leaves grow to around 2.3” to 6” in length.

xiv. English Elm Atinia Tree Leaves

The English elm Atinia tree has toothed edges with its almost oval leaves. The serrated edges on these leaves are observed to face upwards. It also has an asymmetrical base.

xv. Slippery Elm Tree Leaves

The leaves of the slippery elm tree have a sandpaper-like surface with a velvety and smooth underside. These leaves have serrated edges and tend to be long and ovate.

They sprout red before turning dark green and later become dull yellow in fall.

xvi. European White Elm Tree Leaves

Like many elm tree varieties, the leaves of the European white elm are ovate-shaped and have serrated edges.

They have discussed the different elm tree leaves. You may need to compare these shapes with real pictures to understand what they look like.

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