The wych elm is native, but many varieties of wych elm and smooth leaved elm have been introduced and planted in Ireland in the past, mostly for timber. Wych elm is chiefly found in mountain glens in the northwest of the country.
English elm was mainly planted in demesnes. In recent years many of these trees have died as a result of Dutch elm disease. English elms will re-grow from stumps and will form suckers in woodland or hedgerows – these may be used for propagation.
The Irish wych elm, which is less common, appears more resistant to disease. It does not produce suckers and must be grown from seed. Leaves are rough to the touch, oval withtoothed margins. The flowers, as with many trees, appear before the leaves. They are reddish clusters borne directly on the twigs, and are not obvious until they mature into pale green seeds which almost look like leaves, except they ripen and fall soon after the real leaves appear.