Are Elm Trees Good For Yard? (Landscaping Advice)

Elm trees are a classic shade tree, but they’ve fallen out of fashion over the last few decades. They’re often used as street trees because they’re fast-growing and easy to maintain. 

However, there are also several other good reasons why elms are great for your yard or garden:

About Princeton Elm Trees For Landscaping
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Are Elm Trees Good For Yard?

Elms are great trees to have in your yard. They provide shade, beauty, and wildlife habitat. They also can be a good choice for windbreaks and privacy hedges because they grow quickly and their roots spread out quite far.

Elms can be planted in almost any soil type but they need full sun to thrive. The only exception is if you live where there are frequent freeze/thaw cycles: then it’s best to plant elms in an area with partial or dappled shade so that the roots don’t get damaged by being exposed for too long at a time during freezing temperatures (which happens when the snow melts).

When planning your yard landscaping, consider the benefits of different types of trees. For more information about trees that are good for your yard, check out our guide on are ash trees good for yard for expert advice.

Do Elm Trees Grow Fast?

Elms are medium-growing trees. They grow fast when young, but slow down as they get older.

Elms have been a popular shade tree for hundreds of years because they grow fast and look great in the yard! A healthy elm can reach heights up to 50 feet (15 m) and spread out at least 30 feet (9 m). 

They make great shade trees because their leaves turn a beautiful golden color in fall, so they’re especially nice when it’s warm outside too!

Somewhat surprisingly, elms rarely grow as tall as other trees like oaks or maples do; however, elms have much larger trunks than most other deciduous species due to their shallow root system which makes them difficult to transplant once established in your yard. 

Because of this fact alone, we recommend buying an already established one from somewhere else instead of trying growing one from seed yourself unless you have access to very well-draining soil conditions where nothing else would thrive either way.”

How Fast Do Elm Trees Grow?

Elms are among the fastest-growing trees in existence, with some elm species growing as fast as four feet per year. It takes an average of 30-50 years for elms to reach their full height, but they can grow tall enough to be used as shade trees at 10 years. Elms can grow up to 40 feet tall and spread out over 100 feet wide.

Elms are one of the most common street trees in North America; they’re known for their rapid growth rate and tolerance for urban conditions such as pollution and poor drainage. 

However, they have a reputation for being short-lived due to disease problems associated with Dutch Elm Disease (DED).

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Can You Plant Elm Trees In The Ground?

Elms are relatively easy to grow from seed. The seeds can be collected and planted in the spring, or you can buy a tree that’s already been germinated.

Elms have a shallow root system so planting them in the ground can be difficult. You may need to dig out some of the soil around your tree or add compost to help it grow deeper roots and become more stable.

How To Plant An Elm Tree In The Ground?

Dig a hole. The diameter of the hole should be about 2 feet wide, and as deep as the root ball is tall (so if you have a 4-foot-tall tree, dig a 6-foot-deep hole). When you’re done digging, fill the bottom of your hole with rocks or soil to prevent drainage issues.

Plant your elm tree in its new home by gently removing it from its container and placing it into the ground. Make sure that the top of its root ball is level with ground level so that all of its roots are exposed to water and nutrients.

Water well! As soon as possible after planting an elm tree, make sure to water thoroughly so that all of its roots have access to moisture until they have time to establish themselves on their own in their new environment. 

Also, keep an eye out for signs of disease; some fungal diseases won’t show symptoms until later in summer when trees are under stress due to lack of moisture! 

If any problems do arise later down the road when things get hot outside (and therefore less likely for us humans), prune them off immediately before they spread throughout other parts of your yard too quickly by taking appropriate steps now before any damage occurs.”

Dealing with pests like gophers can be frustrating and damaging to your yard. Learn how to remove them effectively by checking out our guide on are gophers bad for yard for helpful tips.

What Are Good Things About Elms?

Elms are fast-growing trees, and they grow well in most soils. They also resist Dutch Elm Disease, which makes them good choices for use in urban settings where disease-resistant trees are needed. Their leaves turn gorgeous shades of yellow, orange, and red in the fall a nice bonus when you consider that elm trees grow so quickly!

Elms have a nice shape and make excellent shade trees because their branches spread out like an umbrella over your yard and home. They provide dappled shade on hot summer days and shelter from cool winds during winter months.

What Are Bad Things About Elms?

When planting elms, it’s important to remember that they are susceptible to Dutch elm disease. This disease can be spread by the bark beetle, which burrows into the tree and releases spores of fungus into its vascular system. 

These spores travel up through the roots and eventually kill a tree by blocking its nutrient supply.

Elms are also messy trees: when planted in places where they have plenty of room to grow, they can become invasive, crowding out other plants around them and requiring constant pruning so as not to overgrow their boundaries. 

Elm leaf beetles can also cause damage if left unchecked they lay eggs on leaves that hatch into larvae that feed on foliage until there is nothing left but bare branches!

Did you know that dandelions can actually have some benefits for your yard? Find out more by checking out our guide on are dandelions good for yard for expert advice on how to make the most of this underappreciated plant.

Where Do Elm Trees Grow Best?

Although elms grow well in full sun, they can also tolerate partial shade. They are tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, including wet soils and dry soils.

Elm trees grow best when planted on moist, humus-rich soil with good drainage and an acidic pH level between 5 and 7.

Growing Conditions for Elm Trees

SoilElms prefer well-draining soil that is moist but not waterlogged. Sandy loam or loam soils are ideal, but elms can grow in a variety of soil types.
SunlightElms thrive in areas with full sun exposure, meaning at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. However, some species of elms can tolerate partial shade.
ClimateElms are adapted to temperate climates, and many species can tolerate both hot summers and cold winters. However, some species may have specific climate preferences, so it’s important to choose the right cultivar for your region.
WaterElms require consistent moisture, especially during their first few years of growth. Make sure to water newly-planted elms regularly to help establish their root systems.
SpaceElm trees can be quite large, with some species growing up to 100 feet tall or wider. Make sure to plant elms in an area with enough space to accommodate their mature size. In addition, avoid planting elms too close to other trees or structures, as their extensive root systems can cause damage.

How Much Does An Elm Tree Cost?

The price of an elm tree varies depending on the size and type you want. If you want a large elm tree, then it will be more expensive than if you want a small one. The average price for an elm tree that is about 2 to 5 feet tall is between $35 and $50 dollars, while larger ones can cost up to $300 or more.

You can also buy fully grown, mature trees for about $100 each as long as they are healthy and have not been damaged during shipping or planting.

While they may have some benefits, excessive dandelions can also have a negative effect on your yard. Learn how to manage them effectively by checking out our guide on are dandelions bad for yard for some helpful tips on keeping them in check.

Do Elms Make Good Shade Trees?

Elms are shade trees, and they tend to be on the smaller side. If you have a small yard or live in an urban area, elms might be a good fit for your needs. They don’t grow as tall as other trees, so they won’t block out the sky completely. 

This makes them ideal for small yards or even indoor spaces like courtyards and alleyways where space is limited. Plus, their low-growing form makes them easy to maintain you can trim them yourself if needed!

Elms also make great windbreaks because they’re resistant to wind damage (they can handle winds up to 100 miles per hour). When planted close together in a row along your property line or property line fence post line, these sturdy trees will help protect your home from strong winds that might cause damage if left unprotected by nearby vegetation.

Pros and Cons of Using Elms as Shade Trees

Large canopy provides ample shade and helps to cool the surrounding environment.Some elm species are susceptible to Dutch elm disease, which can be fatal to the tree.
Elm trees are generally fast-growing, meaning you won’t have to wait long for your shade tree to mature.Elm trees may drop leaves, twigs, or other debris on your lawn or in your gutters.
Elms have strong wood that can withstand high winds and other environmental stresses.Elm trees may be less drought-tolerant than other shade tree varieties.
Elm bark can be visually appealing, with a distinctive pattern and texture.The large size of the tree may be difficult to manage or maintain.
Many elm species are adaptable to a wide range of soil types and growing conditions.The tree may attract pests such as elm beetles, aphids, or borers, which can damage the tree.

Do Elms Make Good Hedges?

If you’re looking for a fast-growing tree to use as a hedge or privacy screen, elms may not be the best choice. 

Elm trees grow rather slowly and can be difficult to trim into shape. If you’re considering planting an elm for this purpose, we recommend taking a look at some of our other options first: cedar, pine, oak, and spruce trees all make very good hedges!


If you’re looking for a tree that is flexible, easy to handle, and has a beautiful, graceful shape then you should consider elm trees. They are also good for hedging or lining streets. There are many varieties of elm trees available so you can choose the one that will fit in best with your garden or yard.

Further Reading

Elm Trees: Choosing And Caring For Elm Trees – This article provides more information on growing and caring for elm trees, including tips for pruning and managing pests or diseases.

Growing Elm Trees: Learn About Elm Trees In The Landscape – This article explains how to select and plant elm trees in your landscape, as well as best practices for maintaining them.

Elm – This article offers a comprehensive overview of elm trees, including their history, cultural significance, and how to grow and care for them.

And here’s an example of an FAQs section:


What are some popular elm tree varieties?

Some popular types of elm trees include American elm, Siberian elm, and Chinese elm.

How do I determine the optimal growing conditions for my elm tree?

Elm trees generally require full sun exposure and well-draining soil. It’s important to plant elm trees in an area with good air circulation to prevent disease.

What are some common pests and diseases that elm trees are prone to?

Elm trees can be susceptible to Dutch elm disease, elm yellows, and various insect pests such as elm leaf beetles and aphids.

Do elm trees have a long lifespan?

Yes, elm trees can live for several hundred years if they are well-cared for and not affected by disease or pests.

How do I prune my elm tree?

It’s best to prune elm trees during the dormant season to minimize stress on the tree. Focus on removing any dead or diseased branches, as well as any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other. It’s also important to avoid over-pruning, as this can leave the tree vulnerable to disease.