I was looking at a tree today that I thought was a black cherry tree, but I'm not 100% sure. Its leaves are yellow and have toothed edges. Its bark has diamond-shaped ridges. I believe that black cherry trees have scaly bark with upturned edges, but I figure that this is a young tree, and so the bark might have a different appearance while young.

Could anyone say for sure what kind of tree this is? Here are some pictures.

A leaf. enter image description here

The bark. enter image description here

From afar. enter image description here

  • 1
    Not black cherry with that serrated edge . It is some kind of elm . Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 4:56
  • @blacksmith37 Ah, perhaps an American Elm?
    – ktm5124
    Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 5:50
  • 1
    as an aside, young black cherry bark is different from the the mature tree - similar to dark birchbark. And yes, this looks to be an elm, presumably dutch elm disease resistant in a deliberate planting.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 17:41
  • 1
    Also a normal city would not chose to plant American Elms as an investment. Bad rep. These are fairly young trees, a decade?
    – stormy
    Commented Nov 12, 2017 at 3:21

3 Answers 3


This is an elm (judging just by the leaf that is serrated and characteristically asymmetrical).

It could be, say, Ulmus davidiana var. japonica 'Prospector'. Or it might be Ulmus americana 'New Harmony'.

To conclude exactly which elm, you need to do more Sherlock Holmes work.

There is a nice article on identifying elms: How to Identify an Elm Tree. It outlines three approaches to identifying elms.

Approach One:

Identifying Elms with Basic Characteristics

  1. Examine the leaves of the tree.
  2. Look at the bark.
  3. Check for overall height and width.
  4. Look at the trunk.
  5. Consider the tree’s location. 

Approach Two:

Looking More Closely at the Tree

  1. Identify what creatures the tree attracts.
  2. Look for visible roots.
  3. Look for sick trees.

Approach Three:

Identifying Seasonal Changes Associated with Elms

  1. Look for flowers.
  2. Look at the seeds of the elm.
  3. Examine elms in the fall.
  4. Examine the tree in the winter.

Sources mentioned in the article

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24


Ulmus pumila the Siberian Elm. Ulmus pumila bark Ulmus pumila bark

Siberian Elm leaves

  • Any chance it is Chinese Elm ? ; as I remember they are similar to Siberian but one makes seed in spring and one in the fall. Commented Nov 12, 2017 at 2:57
  • 2
    I don't think so...Chinese or parvifolia tends to round in the tip. Siberian is more commonly planted...I think anyway. Need to see some seeds or buds...buds for sure would help.
    – stormy
    Commented Nov 12, 2017 at 3:17

It looks like the American Elm with Dutch Elm Disease or Elm Yellows (Ulmus americana)

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