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Winged Elm dead?

Posted by four 9B (near 9a) (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 25, 14 at 15:43

All the other deciduous trees have been making leaves,
starting two and a half months ago.

W.E. height 10', in ground three yrs.
Had been growing and branching as recently as autumn.

Any young oaks and maples that have looked dead never recovered.
I should not assume that W.E. is the same in that regard;
so, you tell me please.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Winged Elm dead?

Do you have dutch elm disease down your way? I had a few winged elms infected in the last few years. Winged elms are pretty tough trees, even when infected with ded some can pull through unlike the american elms. I did have remove a few that died. I sent lab test to nc forestry for confirmation of dutch elm.

RE: Winged Elm dead?

If you are in zone 9a and they haven't leaf(v)ed out by now, they are goners. The local ones are nearly finished flowering and will begin pushing leaves any day now in a (cold leaning) zone 7b.


RE: Winged Elm dead?

i was just talking with a local MI grafter who suggested the elm are a bit on the slow side .. for what that is worth ...

you could do the scratch test ...

or you could post a pic ...

if you keep having repeated failures.. you have found the right forum ... first i would wonder which of those are zone appropriate ... and second.. i would wonder about your source .. and then your planting methods ... including proper watering for the first two years ...

to generate some new posts.. you could do a new one on each topic ... if you wish


RE: Winged Elm dead?

Some of my Cedar Elm have initiated leafing. Others have not.
Perhaps your tree is slow for some reason. The scratch test as mentioned above should tell you something.

RE: Winged Elm dead?

  • Posted by four 9B (near 9a) (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 19:55

Thanks to all.

Until today I had not noticed, because the abundant wings are brown,
that the trunk bark, where visible, is green in the portion from 4' to 7'
(the rest above is a thin shoot, winged).
It gives me to think that I should not remove the tree yet.
However, if scratch testing is definitive, then I will let that be the decider.

Please inform me about scratch testing.

RE: Winged Elm dead?

Scratch a branch with your fingernail. If it is green underneath the branch is still alive, there is hope that it will leaf out. If it is brown then it is dead. The fact that the bark looks green to you gives hope that underneath it will be green as well

RE: Winged Elm dead?

  • Posted by four 9B (near 9a) (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 21:33

Thanks, John Doe. It is the trunk that is green,
I would hesitate to accept a negative conclusion based on these spindly branches,
which more aptly might be called suggestions of branches.
To the eye, there is nothing but wings,
Would it be a meaningful test to scratch the trunk instead?

RE: Winged Elm dead?

The trunk will work too as long as you can get deep enough. This won't determine if the branches themselves are alive or not though. There are branch stems in the middle of the winged branches. Maybe time to upload a picture?

Oh and I'm glad to help! Lots of good helpful people on this forum as you have seen above from the other posters :-)


  • Posted by four 9B (near 9a) (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 12, 14 at 23:48

I scratched near peak of tree, it showed green.

Yesterday, good stuff: many miniscule buds
(most are on the short, spindly lower branches).

RE: Winged Elm dead?

It is hard for me to wrap my head around it still not having leaves in zone 9b since all of the local winged elms here in 7b do now have leaves out. As long as the branches stay green, I would not give up on it, however. Good luck with it =)


  • Posted by four 9B (near 9a) (My Page) on
    Mon, May 12, 14 at 12:47

Buds went higher while lower buds became tiny leaves,
the pattern repeating such that now all parts of tree has leaves,
in a progression of sizes from big at bottom to tiny at top.

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