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TREES & plants

Frontier elm

Young 'Frontier' elm developing fall color.

The Frontier elm has good resistance to Dutch elm disease (DED) and elm yellows and moderate resistance to elm leaf beetle. This hardy, tolerant tree is a good choice for residential landscapes and along city streets.

Botanical name: 
Ulmus 'Frontier'
All Common Names: 
Frontier elm
Family (English): 
Elm
Family (Botanic): 
Ulmaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Planting Site: 
  • Residential and parks, 
  • City parkway, 
  • Wide median, 
  • Restricted sites
Landscape Uses: 
  • Parkway/street, 
  • Shade tree, 
  • Specimen
Size Range: 
  • Large tree (more than 40 feet), 
  • Medium tree (25-40 feet)
Mature Height: 
30-40 feet
Mature Width: 
20-30 feet
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 4, 
  • Zone 5 (Chicago), 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7
Soil Preference: 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Acid Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Alkaline Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Salt Spray: 
  • Tolerant
Soil Salt: 
  • Tolerant
Drought Conditions: 
  • Tolerant
Poor Drainage: 
  • Tolerant
Ornamental Interest: 
  • Fall color, 
  • Attractive bark
Season of Interest: 
  • Early fall, 
  • Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Inconspicuous
Shape or Form: 
  • Narrow, 
  • Pyramidal, 
  • Upright
Growth Rate: 
  • Slow
Transplants Well: 
  • Yes
Wildlife: 
  • Migrant birds
More Information: 

Tree & Plant Care

Do not prune elm trees between mid-April and mid-October.

Disease, pests, and problems

Elm flea weevil is a minor problem.
Wetwood can occur.

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Good resistance to Dutch elm disease and elm yellows and moderately resistant to elm leaf beetle.

Native geographic location and habitat

Of hybrid origin.

Bark color and texture 

Bark is relatively smooth, gray-green in color and marked with orange lenticels.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Alternate leaves with toothed edges; shiny dark green in summer.
Fall color is purplish red.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Seldom flowers.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Seldom produces fruit.  Seed enclosed in a flat, circular wing.

Ulmus 'Frontier' or Frontier elm