Winged Elm

Ulmus alata

Family: Ulmaceae (ulm-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ulmus (ULM-us) (Info)
Species: alata (a-LAY-tuh) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Huntington, Arkansas

Peel, Arkansas

Bartow, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Ellerslie, Georgia

Lawrenceville, Georgia

Peachtree City, Georgia

Carbondale, Illinois

Lisle, Illinois

Benton, Kentucky

Coushatta, Louisiana

Batesville, Mississippi

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Dickson, Tennessee

Indian Mound, Tennessee

Woodlawn, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas

Lampasas, Texas

Lufkin, Texas

Magnolia, Texas

New Caney, Texas

Richmond, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 24, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

Back in the early 1980's I saw a few Winged Elms near the old schoolhouse at my family's cemetery in far southern Illinois. I wish I had my camera at that time. This species that is native to much of the South and some into the southern Midwest, looked like a handsome tree to me, with handsome glossy leaves. This species produces its flowers in late winter to early spring and produces seeds in late spring-early summer. It is often found in dry, upland soils and I think the pH range would be like most other elms of about 6.0 to 8.0. In September 2017, I found two specimens planted at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL, in the Elm Collection, one about 20 feet high and the other about 25 to 30 feet high, showing it can grow into USDA Zone 5. The species usually grows about 30 to 40 feet high the ... read more


On Oct 22, 2013, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

A nuisance in my garden. Have seedlings everywhere. Very hard to remove--have to wait until after a good rain to shovel prune. Seedlings have a long taproot and if even a little piece remains, that seedling will re- emerge.


On Oct 21, 2013, atcps from WOODLAWN, TN wrote:

These trees are all over a piece of property we purchased and they are hard to clear out from the field and woods. While the bark is interesting the tree will lose it leaves quite early in the season and do not look good at all. I see only minor value in them for the wildlife but am trying to eradicate them to a manageable level. They crowd out more desirable trees like oaks and hickories and are not attractive at all.


On May 21, 2010, backyardgrown from Batesville, MS (Zone 7b) wrote:

The only reason I don't give this tree a positive rating is because the seedlings tend to pop up everywhere. If you can't mow or pull them you will have a pretty thick stand in a few years. Other than that, it has interesting bark and doesn't sucker.


On Feb 7, 2008, peachespickett from Huntington, AR wrote:

Here in western Arkansas the winged elms are blooming right now (february7) started a week ago or so. Tough and drought-tolerant, but last year there were so many seeds they came up in every bed and pot I have. Also, they WILL take over a field in a few years, forming nearly impenetrable thickets.


On Mar 4, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Winged Elm, Ulmus alata is Native to North Central Texas.


On Nov 11, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

A tree of the Southern bottomlands, Winged Elms have a unique texture to their bark and branches. The 'wings' make for great Winter interest, and they make a unique addition to ones garden.

In some areas, the small seedlings pop up in pastures and fields making them somewhat of an aggrivation to farmers, but they shouldn't be considered an invasive plant by any means.

A meduim sized tree that gets between 40' and 50' tall and has a diameter of 1' to 2'. The small flowers that are not easily noticed ,form in March.


On May 25, 2004, patp from Summerville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Quoting from the New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Gardening:
"Elms are not fastidious regarding soil acidity; they thrive both where there is a good deal of lime and where little lime is present. Soil of a loamy character, however, is the best....Native of North America....U. alata, the Wahoo Elm, which grows natively from Virginia to Florida and westward to Illinois and Texas and is less hardy than [some other elms]. The Wahoo Elm grows about 50 ft. tall, has a round-topped head and is planted to some extent as a street tree in the South."

We have 2 Winged Elm trees, estimated to be about 14 years old, which are planted in heavy clay soil. They tolerate drought quite well but grow very slowly. I've seen only one other Winged Elm tree in this area. The corky bark ... read more