What fruit does the elm bear: What is the elm and what is its fruit

The elm has been part of the history of human beings since Antiquity

Surely you have occasionally encountered elm trees during a walk or excursion. These large trees have been part of the history of human beings since antiquity, but few people know much about them, like the fruits that the elm tree bears.

In this article we will explain what elm is, its distribution and its uses. Plus, we’ll answer the big question posed by the title of this post: What fruit does the elm bear? Do not hesitate to continue reading if these trees interest you!


What is elm?

The elm is able to reach 40 meters in height

Before specifying what fruit the elm bears, we will first explain what this vegetable is. It is a kind of tree that is part of the family Ulmaceae and which receives the scientific name Ulmus. Species that belong to this genus are deciduous trees that are sturdy and tall in stature. They are able to reach up to forty meters in height.

Among the most common species is the ulmus minor, also known as common or black elm. It has a thick, slightly twisted trunk. It can even be hollowed out in older specimens, especially those that have undergone pruning. Its bark has a grayish or dark brown color and is quite cracked and rough. Its crown should be highlighted, wide and rounded with dense foliage, which provides good shade on sunny days. The branches are quite thin and hairless and its bark is smooth and brownish.

As for the leaves of the elm, they are pointed and rounded with a serrated edge. They have a basal asymmetry, since the distance from the superior insertion of the lamina is less than that of the insertion with the ramillo. Regarding the flowers of this majestic tree, these are early. They are grouped in inflorescences that can contain up to thirty flowers. The fruit can mature and spread even before the elm leaves are fully formed.

elm distribution

Elm trees are found in Western Asia, much of Europe and North Africa. It is a tree that man has cultivated for many years. At the time of the Romans its territory extended and it is rather difficult to know what is really its limit. For example, the islands of Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza have elms, but it is unknown whether they are wild or cultivated. Moreover, these trees are found in almost all of the Iberian Peninsula, but are considerably more common in regions with a Mediterranean climate.

When growing this huge tree, it is important that the soil is deep and cool. The best locations are the edges of rivers and groves, where other trees such as poplars, alders, ashes and willows are also quite frequently found. As for the climate, the best for elms is temperate, which is why it is rare to see these trees above a thousand meters in altitude. The elm normally flowers at the end of winter, between February and March, while the release of its fruits takes place in April.

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elms in the garden

It is important to note that sex Ulmus It has suffered over the last hundred years from a very active and large epidemic called “grafiosis”. It is caused by fungi called Ophiostoma novo-ulmi Yes Ophiostoma ulmi. These attack almost all species of elms. As a result, these trees are now in danger of extinction. It’s a little hard to believe, because elms were considered the most common trees in the world before this epidemic appeared. Experts estimate that the common elm tree population has been reduced by 80-90% If you have one of these trees in your garden, it is important that you know that the disease is spread by beetles. I recommend you take a look at our article on how to repel or eliminate the elm beetle.


As we have already mentioned before, elm trees have been cultivated by man for a long time. This is due to the multiple uses given to it. The bark, for example, is used for create tinctures that are used in the treatment of serious infections caused by bacteria belonging to the genus Clostridiumwhich are often resistant to antibiotics.

In addition, this hard and dense wood has been widely used for manufacture of wheel axles and forklift clevises. Also, it was very popular for shipbuilding.

The fruit of the elm

The fruit of the elm is the samara

Now that we know a little more about this beautiful tree, let’s move on to what really interests us: What fruits does the elm bear? Well, it’s not so much the typical round, fleshy fruits that characterize fruit trees so much. In the case of the elm, the fruits are samaras. These have a flattened shape and have an orbicular wing that completely surrounds the seed. They are usually grouped together and usually have a length of between seven and nine millimeters. The samaras are a type of indehiscent dry fruit, that is to say that it does not open with a valve. Thanks to its shape, it is much easier for it to disperse in the wind.

Initially, the color of elm samaras is light green with some reddish tones, especially in the areas closest to the seeds. Before falling, it takes on a yellowish-brown color. Both in elms and in ash or ailantos, the seed is in the center of the wing of the samara. In other cases, such as maples, it is usually located on one side of the fruit, while the wing extends to the other side.

It is very curious to see how nature offers so many different forms and strategies depending on the type of living being and the species. Of course, it will never cease to amaze us!

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