The Frontier Elm Lights Up the Whole Sky

Jeana Cadby
August 19, 2019

With a curtsey and twirl, a beautiful burgundy-foliage elm dances down the street with flair, donning delightful fall color. Highly disease resistant, compact size, and colorful foliage are just a few ways the Frontier Elm lights up the whole sky.

An Urban Delight

The small, yet masculine Frontier Elm displays attractive, glossy leaves, and contains all the traits of an excellent street tree. Balanced atop a single trunk, a narrow pyramid forms an upright growth habit. This tree is highly tolerant to urban conditions, and naturally reaches roadside optimum height, with low maintenance requirements.

Shiny, dark green foliage fan away the heat and instill a calm sense of natural peacefulness. Gently serrated leaves stretch to the tips of flickering branches. Take refuge in the cool shade in the summer, and relax under the calming flutter of paper elm leaves.

Rows of #7 sized Frontier Elm trees at Garden Gate in Pasco WA.
Rows of #7 sized Frontier Elm trees at Garden Gate in Pasco WA.

The deep summer green is eagerly replaced with a unique red color in the fall. Drink in the breathtaking fall color, a burgundy hue, which is stunning in contrast to the classic elm green. With a maximum height of 25 feet and 15 foot spread, this elm also grows to a comfortable canopy clearance, perfect for picnicking under on a summer day.

A New Frontier

The exceptional disease resistance of the Frontier Elm is a relief for landscapers looking for a reliable tree with unique characteristics. Tolerance to diverse soil conditions, including alkaline soil and road salt, also add to the versatility of this elm tree. This elm is suitable under power lines and for other street conditions, mixing well with traditional elms to produce diverse fall color.

Wonderful qualities also include tolerance to urban pollution and small growing, short stature. This adaptable specimen grows well in zone 4 climates, but can be found thriving throughout urban landscapes across the United States. Cooler temperatures as low as -30 to -20° Fahrenheit are a breeze in the winter months.

Attractive textured bark offers year-round interest, in addition to a unique fall color. When autumn peeks its head around the corner, a beautiful burgundy blush appears, to light up the whole sky. This vibrant display draws the eye down the horizon using trees lining the roadside or along a driveway.

Frontier Elm Leaves during the fall, showing off their bright color.
Frontier Elm Leaves during the fall, showing off their bright color.

A Street Side Treat

The low maintenance Frontier Elm tree does not require major pruning, but can be shaped when necessary for maximum versatility. Prune in late winter if necessary to increase canopy height or overall shape in early growth.

Rich, glossy green foliage shines under full sunlight, and retains a vibrant sheen throughout the season. Seed and flower production is insignificant, leaving little cleanup responsibilities, aside from seasonal leaf drop. This hybrid elm tree truly provides an exceptional experience as a street tree specimen, or a disease resistant addition to the garden.

Beautiful bright green leaves in the summertime.
Beautiful bright green leaves in the summertime.

The small and resilient Frontier Elm is a wonderful specimen tree for any landscape setting. Add a touch of interesting fall color when mixed into diverse scenery, or awe street side onlookers in a dazzling row display. This tree is compact enough to perform well under power lines, and can be pruned to achieve a tall canopy height to complete any urban setting.  


Highly versatile, disease resistant, and compact Frontier Elm tree (Ulmus 'Frontier') offers brilliant fall color with minimal maintenance needs. What could be a more inspiring fall foliage tree?

Find the Frontier Elm in our catalog here.

Please Upgrade Your Browser.

Unfortunately, Internet Explorer is an outdated browser and we do not currently support it. To have the best browsing experience, please upgrade to Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome or Safari.