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ELM, RED

Ulmus spp.


A NOTE ABOUT ELMS IN THE USA



Generally elm, Ulmus fulva or Ulmus rubra of the family Ulmaceae but may include other species. Also, "red elm" and "slippery elm" are generally the same couple of species, so "slippery elm" is included on this page.

See "elm, misc" for more discussion of the elm species and names (which are a mess) AND to see a sample of the "feathering" that makes elm relatively easy to identify.

my samples:
NOTE: these pics were all taken in very bright incandescent lighting ("soft white" at 2700K)
colors will vary under other lighting conditions


two faces of a small plank of red elm, the first being a quartersawn face and the second a flat cut face --- as you can see from the end grain shot below, the face that is almost perfectly quartersawn has very nice ray flakes

end grain, end grain closeupof the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


red elm planks and closeup


END GRAIN UPDATE from a sample cut from one of the planks directly above and done to get another sample for the anatomy pages.


sample plank and end grain sold to me as red elm / slippery elm / Ulmus rubra


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of slippery elm / Ulmus rubra


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of slippery elm / Ulmus rubra --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE and side grain closeup from directly above. As you can see in the 2nd enlargement of the end grain update, there are very thin rays and in the quartersawn grain shot you can see, even though it is not well cleaned up at all, the accompanying tiny flakes.


both sides of a sample plank of red elm / slippery elm / Ulmus rubra --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample plank of slippery elm / Ulmus rubra --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. I note that the vendor of this piece has labeled it as "quartersawn". That is a bit of an exaggeration; it's really rift cut.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample plank of slippery elm / Ulmus rubra --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Note that this sample was sold as "quartersawn" but really is quarterCUT, not quartersawn. See the sample directly below this one for one that actually is quartersawn.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of quartersawn red elm / slippery elm / Ulmus rubra --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. This piece actually IS quartersawn and shows the kind of small, moderately short, ray flakes that are typical for this species, especially on the unlabeled side.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


the second pic is the end grain of the first piece so you can clearly see that this is flat cut. Contrast this raw, rough end grain with what it looks like after sanding (but no finishing agent) in the bowl at the bottom of this page. The bowl pieces are from the same plank as this sample.


a little stick that I had laying around when I had some room left in a batch of end grain processing, so I put it in. As you can see, one of the faces is perfectly quartersawn so I took a pic of the ray flakes


end grain and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above


these samples are from a couple of sections of a different plank. It is rift sawn and is considerably darker and duller than the first plank and has a much more uniform grain pattern. The samples below are from a different lot and show a much more lively elm, not just because they are flat cut rather than quartersawn but also because the wood is more colorful than this plank.


closeup and end grain of the 2nd piece directly above


cut from the same long plank as the one directly above, this one is shown dry and then moistened with water


small piece and end grain


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


two sides of a piece cut from a nicely figured red elm plank --- the color is exact


the first pic is the same as the one directly above it except that the wood has been sprayed with water just to show how nice the grain pattern is with a finishing agent. The second pic is to show the end and side grain of the same piece.


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of quartersawn spalted slippery red elm / Ulmus rubra --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The ray flakes are particularly clear on the upper part of the labeled side. Note that is is white rot spalting.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of spalted slippery red elm / Ulmus rubra --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Note that is is white rot spalting.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above and also a closeup of the edge that is very close to being quartersawn and show very clear ray flakes


a set of thins cut from a plank from the same lot as the one that yielded those samples directly above --- the color has been over-corrected and shows too much red; these pieces should have the exact same color as the previous samples


a couple of flat cut red elm veneer sheets (first pic) and some closeups from them


This flat cut red elm veneer sheet was loaned to me by John Koehn whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


quartersawn red elm veneer


quartersawn red elm veneer with small ray flakes that didn't show up well in the direct shot so I've added an angled shot that shows them somewhat better


quartersawn red elm veneer with ray flakes, and a closeup --- the color is too light; should be the darker brown of the piece directly above.



The Wood Book pics




flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
slippery elm (Ulmus fulva, also listed as red elm and moose elm)

elm pics from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for each of the 3 views of each species

web pics:


red elm flat cut, quartersawn and end grain


red elm planks and turning stock


plank listed as red elm / Ulmus rubra, probably moistened for the pic, since the color is WAY too rich for raw wood


red elm log


red elm planks and a closeup


red elm flat cut and quartersawn planks; the grain shows better in the enlargements


red elm plank with wet and dry sections


plank listed as red elm heartwood


rustic red elm planks


plank listed as slippery elm


turning stock listed as slippery elm


bowl blank and turning stock listed as red elm --- note that the turning stock is identical to one listed by the same vendor as "American elm" which makes me dubious about this vendor's care in naming woods


veneer listed as red elm


veneer listed as American red elm


flat cut and quartersawn veneer, both listed as American red elm / ulmus rubra veneer


red elm veneer --- I believe this piece must have been watered or oiled


listed as quartersawn red elm veneer although the 2nd pic is clearly NOT quartesawn, but rift cut --- vendors tend to not use the term rift cut, perhaps believing that it is not widely understood, so on something like this that is rift cut but for the most part appears very close to quartersawn, they just list it as quartersawn.


spalted red elm


three views of a spalted red elm plank


slippery elm hat by Dennis Ford. I don't normally solicit pics for this site but I found Dennis's work to be so striking that I asked, and he generously contributed this and several other pics of his hats, using various American domestic woods including Siberian elm, American elm, sweet gum, ash, and pecan. The finish on this one is Minwax wipe on poly. My thanks to Dennis for the pics.


red elm hollow form --- although the green color is conceivably due to a finishing agent, I think it's likely just poor photography


red elm bowl blank


red elm bowls


red elm bowls (well, they were listed as bowls but they look like platters to me)


red elm crotch bowl (well, it was listed as a bowl but it looks like a platter to me) --- whatever you call it, it really looks great.


red elm bowl that has apparently been dyed red


bowls listed as slippery elm


slippery elm vase


red elm hollow form