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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):


Family (Botanic):


Planting Site:

  • Residential and parks,
  • City parkway,
  • Wide median,
  • Restricted sites

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Tree


  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

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


  • Dry sites,
  • Occasional drought,
  • Wet sites,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Road salt

Acid Soils:

  • Tolerant

Alkaline Soils:

  • Tolerant

Salt Spray:

  • Tolerant

Soil Salt:

  • Tolerant

Drought Conditions:

  • Tolerant

Poor Drainage:

  • Tolerant

Ornamental Interest:

  • Fall color,
  • Attractive bark

Seasons of Interest:

  • early fall,
  • mid fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Inconspicuous

Shape or Form:

  • Narrow,
  • Pyramidal,
  • Upright

Growth Rate:

  • Slow

Transplants Well:

  • Yes


  • 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.

Location of Ulmus 'Frontier' (Frontier elm) at the Arboretum