What is the plant
Ulmus thomasii, the rock elm or cork elm, is a deciduous tree native primarily to the Midwestern United States. There are no known cultivars of Ulmus thomasii, nor is it known to be any longer in commerce.
Ulmus thomasii grows as a tree from 15–30 m (50–100 ft) tall, and may live for up to 300 years. Where forest-grown, the crown is cylindrical and upright with short branches, and is narrower than most other elms. Rock elm is also unusual among North American elms in that it is often monopodial. The bark is grey-brown and deeply furrowed into scaly, flattened ridges. Many older branches have 3–4 irregular thick corky wings. It is for this reason the rock elm is sometimes called the cork elm. The leaves are 5–10 cm (2–4 in) long and 2–5 cm (3⁄4–2 in) wide, oval to obovate with a round, symmetrical base and acuminate apex. The leaf surface is shiny dark green, turning bright yellow in autumn.
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