DAVIDSON TREASURE TREES

#031 Slippery Elm
(Ulmus rubra)

This is the largest Slippery Elm in the Davidson Street Tree Inventory, tree #935.

Statistics (2020)

  • Circumference (In.):
  • Height (Ft.):
  • Avg. Crown Spread (Ft.):
  • Diameter Breast Height (In.):
  • Total Points:

More Information

  • Year Recognized: 2021
  • Current condition:
  • Property Type: Private
  • Ecological Value: Slippery Elm, is a long-lived elm tree that, while native to North Carolina, is rarely used in the landscape due to its rough texture and difficulty to find commercially. In nature, it can be found in wooded areas with moist to fairly dry calcareous soils and in cove forests in the low mountains containing soils rich in organic matter, and drier upland soils. It is not often found above 1800 feet elevation. It will tolerate drought and part shade but prefers sun and moist loam or clay loam soils. It can be grown in any soil of moderate quality as long as it is well-drained. A moderately fast-growing tree, it can live about 200 years in the wild. It can be weedy and messy due to seed production. The tree can reach a height of 70 feet and its single trunk has a diameter of 2 to 3 feet.Used in traditional medicine as the moist inner bark is the source of the well-known slippery elm ingredient used in throat lozenges. Native Americans used the bark to quench thirst by chewing the sweet, fibrous inner bark peeled from twigs and branches. The inner bark is slippery, thus its common name.
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