Siberian elm (aka Chinese elm) is an aggressive tree species highly involved in New Mexico landscapes. It was introduced to the State to provide canopy and windbreak, but now provides many challenges through its unbounded success. It thrives under low moisture and low maintenance conditions, vigorously outcompeting more desirable species. Its prolific seeding in the spring followed by summer rains lead to quick colonization of disturbed ground and garden areas.
Controlling Siberian elm spread is best accomplished when the trees are not yet sprouted or still in the seedling stage and can still be pulled by hand. Once established, removal becomes progressively more difficult with age. For best success, clean up the seeds, and pull those that germinate while they are still young.
View an educational video featuring New Mexico State University’s Extension Weed Specialist Dr. Leslie Beck and Taos Land Trust’s Ben Wright! This video is specific to Siberian elm in Taos County and was the result of a collaboration between Taos Soil & Water Conservation District, New Mexico State University, and Taos Land Trust.