Frontier Elm

Botanical Name: Ulmus x carp. ‘Frontier’

Alternate Name: Frontier Hybrid Elm

The Frontier Elm tree (Ulmus x carp. ‘Frontier’) is a hardy and adaptable, medium sized deciduous tree with a vase or pyramidal shaped open growth habit. This tree grows to a height of 30-40 feet with a spread of 20-30 feet.

This tree is a hybrid cultivar developed in 1971 by the United States National Arboretum in Washington D.C. It is a cross between the spring blooming Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia) and the fall blooming European Field Elm (Ulmus minor). It was released for cultivation in the 1990’s. 

The leaves of the Frontier Elm emerge in the spring tinged with red and mature to a shiny, deep green as the growing season progresses. They grow up to 2.5-4.5 inches long and are oval in shape, with serrated margins and an asymmetrical leaf base. The fall foliage display is long lasting – the leaves turn various shades of deep, rich, red, and purple. 

The Frontier Elm is a fall bloomer but rarely does so and does not produce seed. The bark is smooth and gray.

This tree is a useful street tree as it is hardy and adaptable to many soil types and conditions. It has good resistance to Dutch Elm disease and some resistance to the elm leaf beetle

Height: 40-50 ft.

Width: 25-30 ft.

Shape: Vase, Pyramidal

Flower Color: Green

Flowering Time: September-October

Fall Color: Red, Purple

Features: Bright fall color, adaptable street tree

Exposure: Full Sun to Part Sun

Watering: Moderate & Regular

Soil: Prefers moist, well-drained soils,  but is adaptable to wet and dry soils as well as alkaline pH.

Growth Rate: Fast

USDA Zones: 5-8

Uses: Shade tree, street tree, park tree

Similar trees: Ulmus x wilsoniana 'Prospector' (Prospector Elm), Ulmus ‘Morton Glossy’ (Triumph Elm), Ulmus ‘Morton’ (Accolade Elm), Ulmus 'New Horizon' (New Horizon Elm), Ulmus americana 'Princeton' (Princeton Elm)

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