(note uneven base)
The leaves are alternate,
7-16 cm long, with a strongly toothed margin, with one side longer than
the other and overlapping. The short leaf-stalk is less than 10 mm long.
The upper surface is rough to the touch, the lower more softly hairy.
They are often 3-pointed at the tip.
Wych elm is a
up to 40 m in height. It often branches near the base forming a dome-shaped
crown. The bark is grey with many long fissures. It is native in damp
woods, hedges and along streams.
The clusters of
tiny, bell-shaped, green flowers open in late February and March,
well before the leaves.
The fruit is flattened,
broadly winged, penny-sized and light green, with a single seed in
The young twigs
are covered in coarse, rusty coloured hairs.
It is less prone
to attack by Dutch elm disease than other elms, so that large trees
may still be seen, particularly in Northern Britain.
The wood is
very durable in wet conditions. It was once used to make underground
water pipes and is still used for groynes
and harbour works.
It was formerly
a favourite timber of coffin-makers.