Red Elm
Ulmus  spp.

Common Names

Slippery Elm, Gray Elm, Soft Elm, Moose Elm, American Elm,  American weeping elm, American White Elm,  Gray elm, Rock Elm, Springwood, Swamp Elm, Water Elm, White Elm


The American elm has been seriously affected by Dutch elm disease. The disease has eliminated most of the majestic American elms in the urban setting and continues to kill trees each year. Elm is the state tree of Massachusetts and North Dakota.

Did You Know?

The red elm has a glue-like substance in its inner bark that formerly was steeped in water as a remedy for throat ailments; powdered for use in poultices, and chewed as a thirst-quencher.


The Eastern to Midwest U.S. Average tree height is 40 to 60 feet.

Main Uses

Uses include furniture, hardwood dimension, flooring, construction and mining timbers, sheet metal work, wheel hubs, railroad ties, ship-building, fence posts, sills, boxes, crates, pallets, cooperage, decorative plywood and veneer, farm vehicles, food containers, baskets, and interior trim.

The wood is also used for the hubs of wagon wheels and hockey sticks, as it is very shock resistant, owing to the wood's interlocking grain. It is also used for making bows, as it is both strong and flexible.

Relative Abundance

Together, aspen, basswood, cottonwood, elm, gum, hackberry, sassafras, sycamore and willow represent 12.5 percent of commercially available U.S. hardwoods.

General Description

Red elm has a grayish white to light brown narrow sapwood, with heartwood that is reddish brown to dark brown in color. The grain can be straight, but is often interlocked. The wood has a coarse texture. The wood has no characteristic odor or taste.

The fibrous inner bark is a strong and durable fiber, which can be spun into thread, twine or rope. It can be used for bow strings, ropes, jewelry, clothing, snowshoe bindings, woven mats, and even some musical instruments.


Very Limited.


Ash • Beech • Brazilian Cherry • Brazilian Walnut • Aromatic Cedar • Cherry • Coffeenut • Cypress • Hickory • Hard Maple • Poplar • Red Elm • Red Oak • Sassafras • Soft Maple • Walnut • White Oak • White Pine • Yellow Pine • Heart Pine

click the above images to view

Wood is a natural product. Some variation in color and grain pattern will occur between samples, images on this website, photographs and any specific installation.

Working Properties

Red elm is fairly easy to work, it nails, screws and glues well, and can be sanded and stained to a good finish. It dries well with minimum degrade and little movement in performance.

Red Elm - Working Properties Chart

PDF file on strength & mechanical properties

Get the FREE Adobe Reader

Physical Properties

The wood of American elm is moderately heavy, hard, and stiff. It has interlocked grain and is difficult to split, which is an advantage for its use as hockey sticks and where bending is needed.

 860 Janka Hardness Rating

Red Elm Estimated Product Weights


Green Rough Sawn

4.42 bf

KD Rough Sawn

3.59 bf

KD 15/16" HoM Planed

3.37 bf

KD 3/4" S4S & Flooring

2.92 sf

Listed weights are considered estimated averages only and do not include the additional weight of bolsters, packaging or crating.




10214 W Deputy Pike
Deputy, IN 47230

Local Tel:      812.866.4415
Toll Free Tel: 800.966.4415
Toll Free Fax: 877.866.9221

Copyright 1999-2016 All rights reserved