American Red Elm

The American Elm (Ulmus rubra) has been seriously affected by Dutch elm disease. The disease has eliminated most of the majestic American Elms in the urban setting and continues to kill trees each year. Elm is the state tree of Massachusetts and North Dakota.

Did You Know?
The American Red Elm has a glue-like substance in its inner bark that formerly was steeped in water as a remedy for throat ailments; powdered for use in poultices, and chewed as a thirst-quencher.

Main Uses
Uses include furniture, hardwood dimension, flooring, construction and mining timbers, sheet metal work, wheel hubs, railroad ties, ship-building, fence posts, sills, boxes, crates, pallets, cooperage, decorative plywood and veneer, farm vehicles, food containers, baskets, and interior trim.
The wood is also used for the hubs of wagon wheels and hockey sticks, as it is very shock resistant, owing to the wood’s interlocking grain. It is also used for making bows, as it is both strong and flexible.

General Description
American Red Elm has a grayish white to light brown narrow sapwood, with heartwood that is reddish brown to dark brown in color. The grain can be straight, but is often interlocked. The wood has a coarse texture. The wood has no characteristic odor or taste.
The fibrous inner bark is a strong and durable fiber, which can be spun into thread, twine or rope. It can be used for bow strings, ropes, jewelry, clothing, snowshoe bindings, woven mats, and even some musical instruments.