Beware of These 8 Pitfalls That Come With Planting an Elm Tree

Elm trees are well-known for offering seclusion and shade in landscaping. They are a choice for big yards in rural areas since they are strong and durable.

Regretfully, elm tree planting might also result in a few issues. We’ll go over the potential problems with planting elm trees in this post so you can decide if they’re a good fit for your land.

1. Elm Trees Trigger Pollen Allergies

The generation of pollen is one of the most notable drawbacks of planting an elm tree. In southern climes, elm trees begin to produce pollen as early as February, whereas in northern climates it happens around April.

Elm tree pollen can aggravate asthma and cause allergic reactions such as congestion, sneezing, watery eyes, and itching. Since elm allergy sufferers frequently also have allergies to grass, other pollen, and other allergens, diagnosing this allergy can be challenging.

If you have trouble with allergies, stay away from elm trees.

2. Elm Trees Are Susceptible to Dutch Elm Disease

A fungal illness known as Dutch elm disease (DED) overtakes elm trees, impairing their capacity to absorb and move water. Certain beetle species and grafting techniques are its means of dissemination.

DED is an invasive plant that is found in Europe and North America that has killed over 40 million trees in the US. Although DED mostly affects elm trees, it can also spread to neighboring trees in your yard by overlapping root systems.

If there is a known epidemic in your region, stay away from planting elm trees, and if you do plant one, abide by the regulations in your community.

3. Elm Trees Attract Pests

With these trees, DED is the primary pest to be aware of, but there are other pests as well.

The thick bark of elm trees is a beetle favorite. These trees are also home to elm seed bugs. Although there are many elm varieties that are resistant to disease, it is challenging to keep away from mealy bugs, borers, and scale insects.

4. Elm Trees Break in Strong Winds

Because they are so robust, elm trees provide a lot of wind resistance. During storms, this resistance causes severe branch breaking. This can be an insurance liability if you have an established elm tree.

Planting an elm tree to give shade close to your home is one way to get around this problem. But that can result in more serious problems down the road.

5. Elm Trees Can Be Water-Seeking

Numerous elm tree species, including American elms, are water-seeking. The roots will seek out the closest water source if they aren’t receiving enough rain and you aren’t giving them frequent supplements. This source could be either your sewage line or well, depending on where it is located.

Steer clear of this tree if you don’t live close to a river or pond or if you can’t adequately water your elm during dry spells.

6. Elm Trees Grow 80-100 Feet Tall

The fact that elm trees can reach heights of 100 feet and widths of more than 60 feet presents another problem when placing them close to your home. If you plant it too close to your house or electrical wires, you could eventually need to cut it down.

Make sure the elm tree is at least 50 feet away from your house and any power lines if you decide to plant one. Don’t plant an elm tree if you can’t locate a location that satisfies these requirements.

7. Elm Trees Are Messy

The fact that elm trees are dirty is one of the most common mistakes people make while planting one. Not only do these trees break off twigs and branches in strong gusts, but they also have a reputation for shedding a lot of leaves and seeds.

Pruning on a regular basis can mitigate this problem. To stop the development of DED, several places do, however, restrict the number of pruning seasons. You might have to adjust your lawn care practices or learn to live with the mess if you choose this tree.

8. Some Elm Trees Are Invasive

The Siberian elm tree appears to be a wonderful addition to the yard at first glance because it is sturdy and resistant to disease. On the other hand, it has a reputation for dispersing seeds that encircle and consume the water supplies of nearby trees.

Unchecked, the Siberian elm uses its hardiness and resilience to outlast native plants and surpass them in harsh environments. One species that is regarded as invasive is the Siberian elm.

Make sure no Siberian elm trees are planted in your yard, and get rid of those that are already there.

Overview of Pitfalls of Planting an Elm Tree

Ranking Pitfalls of Planting Elm Trees
1 Elm Trees Trigger Pollen Allergies
2 Elm Trees Are Susceptible to Dutch Elm Disease (DED)
3 Elm Trees Attract Pests
4 Elm Trees Break in Strong Winds
5 Elm Trees Can Be Water-Seeking
6 Elm Trees Grow 80-100 Feet Tall
7 Elm Trees Are Messy
8 Some Elm Trees Are Invasive