En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Seedlings of elm trees in Illinois

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - June 09, 2008

From: Creve Coeur, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Seedlings of elm trees in Illinois
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have what I believe to be young elm trees sprouting throughout my front yard. I will pull them up and over night more sprout and will be 5+ inches tall. I would like to know how to get rid of them, stop them from growing. The houses next to me do not have this problem. Thank you

ANSWER:

If you have the sprouts in your yard, and the neighbors don't, that probably means that the mother tree is in your yard. There are three elms considered native to Illinois: Ulmus alata (winged elm), Ulmus americana (American elm), and Ulmus rubra (slippery elm). All are susceptible to Dutch Elm disease, which has nearly wiped out the species in North America. They are also weedy, and they tend to infest hedges, fencerows and other idle ground, as you have already found out.

Insofar as the present sprouts are concerned, there is not much you can do except pull them out, mow them, and curse them. Using any sort of herbicide would endanger the plants around them. If the tree is not very old or essential to your landscape, you might consider having it cut down. In view of the weediness and problems with pests and disease, this might save you a lot of grief in the long run. Even if you do that, birds and animals are going to continue to pick up the seeds and disseminate them, but after a year or so the problem should lessen.


Ulmus alata

Ulmus americana

Ulmus rubra

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Growth rate of trees
August 20, 2007 - What is the growth rate of the following plants. (How wide and tall each year? They are all in 1 gallon pots right now.) 1. Agarita 2. Anacacho Orchid 3. Silk Tassel. Is there anything that can be ...
view the full question and answer

Understory trees for large trees in Austin
October 18, 2010 - I'm blessed with some beautiful large live oaks, burr oaks, and cedar elms in my front yard in southwest Austin. I'd like to plant some understory trees among them. The trees would get dappled lig...
view the full question and answer

Xeric landscaping walls in Mansfield TX
November 15, 2009 - We have two stone, concave 10 ft. high entry walls to our private street. These are each 20 ft. in length and face the west. What xeriscaping accent plants would you recommend. Also, should we crea...
view the full question and answer

Tree with tap root for small area near Dallas
September 07, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Coppell, TX (a suburb of Dallas) & am looking for a tree to plant near our pool to provide some shade. The current tree (a silver leaf maple) is dying. My husband thi...
view the full question and answer

Looking for a redbud sized tree to plant in Tulsa OK.
September 27, 2011 - I am looking for a native tree about the size of a redbud to place in my prairie bed in Tulsa Oklahoma, wildlife friendly trees preferred, thanks!
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center