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Ulmus villosa Brandis ex Gamble, the Cherry-bark Elm, is one of the more distinctive Asiatic elms, and a species capable of remarkable longevity. It is endemic to the valleys of the Kashmir at elevations from 1200 m to 2500 m but has become increasingly rare owing to its popularity as cattle fodder, and mature trees are now largely restricted to temples and shrines where they are treated as sacred . Some of these trees are believed to be aged over 800 years.


Growing up to 25 m high, the tree is rather lightly and pendulously branched, the bark smooth with distinctive horizontal bands of lenticels, although it eventually becomes very coarsely furrowed, The oblong-elliptic-acute leaves are < 11 cm long by 5 cm broad. The wind-pollinated apetalous flowers appear in spring, and are particularly densely clustered, the white hairs covering the perianth and ovary contrasting with the purplish anthers. The samarae are elliptic and up to 12 mm long, densely hairy on both sides.

Pests and diseases

U. villosa has a low susceptibility to Dutch elm disease and the elm leaf beetle Xanthogaleruca luteola, but a moderate susceptibility to Elm Yellows.


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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.