Red Elm

Ulmus rubra, Ulmus americana

Trade Names

ed Elm, White Elm, Slippery Elm

Similar Woods

Dutch Elm


North America


Canada and USA, particularly central area around the Great Lakes.


Sliced veneer for faces. In America a special wood for boat building and harbour work.


The only differentiating feature between “White Elm” and “Slippery Elm” is the slippery inner bark of the latter. This slime is used for medical purposes. Generally the wood is dark brown with a reddish tone. Otherwise the American Elms are very similar to the European Elms, but since these are no longer available for veneer purposes because of the Dutch Elm disease, Red Elm is used as an alternative.


The slow grown grades are easily machined by hand and tools. Fast grown pieces are difficult to plane and shape.


Drying is slow and must be carried out carefully and gently due to the tendency to check and warp.


Normal surface treatments can be applied without difficulty. Filler is recommended because of the coarse texture.


All wood joints using nails, screws and glue hold well, but pre-drilling is recommended due to the wood’s tendency to split.