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Elm Trees

Elm trees are iconic to Lethbridge's urban forest and canopy. The city is home to 5,748 public elms, with an additional 5000 (estimated) private trees. ​Elms alone comprise more than 12% of our total urban forest, and provide nearly 30% of the shade in Lethbridge. That's impressive! These trees also provide a host of benefits to the city including carbon storage and sequestration, shade and cooling, storm water mitigation, habitat for birds and wildlife and so much more.

Elm trees can easily be spotted as some of the largest trees in older neighbourhoods all around Lethbridge as they were one of the first species of tree planted in the city, along with poplar and ash. The majestic, old trees provide welcoming shade to homes and streets, as well as helping with storm water runoff during spring and summer.

Did you know, each year elm trees provide:

  • 5000 tons of carbon storage
  • 63 tons of carbon removed from the air
  • 170 tons of oxygen
  • 175,000 cubic meters of runoff uptake
  • 335 acres of shade
They also help to remove air pollution and add a ton of value to the properties they reside on!

These impressive organisms also come with some specialized needs and threats. Threats to elm trees in North America include Dutch Elm Disease, European Elm Scale, Elm Wilt Fungus, drought conditions and rapid changes in seasons. As such, elm trees should be watered deeply every couple weeks in summer and frequently observed for changes in health.  

Elm Identification

​Leaf Shape

  • leaves are ovate in shape.

  • vibrant to deep green in colour.

  • sometimes appear glossy.

  • have deeply serrated edges.

  • are uneven at the base where they meet the stem.

​Bark and Trunk

  • bark appears almost braided, with deep grooves.

  • silver-brown in colour.

  • elm trunks and branches are also known to sucker, appearing 'fuzzy' with small branches and leaves.

​Tree Shape

  • trees are typically vase or upside-down umbrella shaped.

  • older trees appear to be a wider vase, while younger trees appear tighter.

Tree Information


For more information

Online: Submit a service request
Phone: 311 or 403-320-3111 (if outside of Lethbridge)
Address:  City Hall, 910 4 Avenue South, Lethbridge, Alberta, T1J 0P6