Ulmus pumila 'Pinnato-ramosa'

  (Redirected from Turkestan elm)

The Siberian elm cultivar Ulmus pumila 'Pinnato-ramosa' was raised by Georg Dieck at the National Arboretum, Zöschen, Germany, from seed collected for him circa 1890 in the Ili valley, Turkestan (then a region of Russia, now part of Kazakhstan) by the lawyer and amateur naturalist Vladislav E. Niedzwiecki while in exile there.[1][2]

Ulmus pumila 'Pinnato-ramosa'
Ulmus pumila 'Turkestan', ex-Spath 1902. Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh (3).jpg
'Pinnato-ramosa', Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, planted 1902
SpeciesUlmus pumila


Originally named U. pinnato-ramosa by Dieck at Zöschen. In 1908 Litvinov treated the tree as a variety of Siberian elm, U. pumila var. arborea [3] but this taxon was ultimately rejected by Green, who sank the tree as a cultivar: "in modern terms, it does not warrant recognition at this rank but is a variant of U. pumila maintained and known only in cultivation, and therefore best treated as a cultivar".[4]

Elwes and Henry confused the tree, in their Synonymy list, with U. turkestanica Regel,[5] which Regel himself had regarded as "a form of U. suberosa [:U. minor]".[6] The Späth nursery of Berlin treated U. turkestanica Regel as a cultivar distinct from U. pinnato-ramosa[7][8][9] and from U. minor 'Umbraculifera', with which Green considered Ulmus turkestanica Regel synonymous, naming it U. 'Turkestanica'.[4]


'Pinnato-ramosa' grows very vigorously, and can ultimately make a large tree,[10] however it also has a straggling, untidy habit, producing long shoots 0.60–0.95 m in length.[5] Dieck also described the unusual arrangement of the branch and shoots: 'The branches are organized in a way that each offshoot lies in the same plane as the main branch or stem, like the quill and filaments of a bird feather'.[1] The tree is chiefly distinguished from U. pumila by its greater height and more slender leaves.[11][12] The leaves, which have pinnate venation, are 4–7 cm in length, ovate-lanceolate, with double-toothed margins, and finely pointed.

Pests and diseasesEdit

'Pinnato-ramosa' has not been scientifically tested for resistance to Dutch elm disease, however several old specimens have survived unscathed by the disease (see Notable trees).


Dieck gave several specimens to the Späth nursery, which exported the tree across Europe, and to the USA. Some of these trees still survive, notably in the UK, and North America. Introduced to Croatia from Italy, 'Pinnato-ramosa' can now be found in many places along the Croatian littoral, where it is known as 'Turkestan Elm'.[13] Also introduced to Australia, the tree was listed by nurseries there (as U. turkestanica) in the early 20th century, but it is not known whether it still survives.

The tree was included in the early stages of the Dutch elm breeding programme, but was dropped owing to the susceptibility of its flowers, which emerge in early February, to frost.[14]

Notable treesEdit

One of three trees labelled Ulmus pinnato-ramosa obtained from Späth in 1902 by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh survives (2016),[15][16] measuring 15 m height × 82 cm d.b.h. in 2004.[9] A specimen at Mote Park in Kent measured 20 m × 80 cm in 2009.[17] In the USA, a probable 'Pinnato-ramosa' grows in the grounds of the Gillett-Beer Farm, Chicago Road, Warren, a suburb within the Detroit Metropolitan Area; the tree was 45 m tall, with a d.b.h. of 155 cm in 2012. [2]


North America


  1. ^ a b Dieck, G. (1894). Neuheiten-Offerten des National-Arboretums zu Zöschen bei Merseburg, 1894/95.
  2. ^ Hansen, N. How to produce that $1000 premium apple, in Minnesota State Hort. Soc. (1900). Trees, fruits & flowers of Minnesota. Vol. 28. 470–1. Forgotten Books, London, 2013. ISBN 9781153197953
  3. ^ U. pumila L. var. arborea Litwinow, in Schedae ad Herbarium Florae Rossicae No. 1992, &: 460 (1908)
  4. ^ a b Green, Peter Shaw (1964). "Registration of cultivar names in Ulmus". Arnoldia. Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University. 24 (6–8): 41–80. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  5. ^ a b Elwes, Henry John; Henry, Augustine (1913). The Trees of Great Britain & Ireland. 7. pp. 1926–1927.
  6. ^ "Literatur". Gartenflora. 33: 28. 1884.
  7. ^ Katalog (PDF). 108. Berlin, Germany: L. Späth Baumschulenweg. 1902–1903. pp. 132–133.
  8. ^ Accessions book. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. 1902. pp. 45, 47.
  9. ^ a b "List of Living Accessions: Ulmus". Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  10. ^ J., White; D., More (2003). "Trees of Britain & Northern Europe". Cassell, London. ISBN 0-304-36192-5.
  11. ^ A., Mitchell (1974). "A Field Guide to the Trees of Britain & Northern Europe". Collins, London. p. 254.
  12. ^ Diagnostic photographs of Turkestan elms, their leaves and samarae, in the Björngårdsvägen, Södermalm, Stockholm, the Enkehusparken in Vasastan, Stockholm, and the Norra Kyrkogården in Solna, Sweden: www.tradgardsakademin.se [1]
  13. ^ Trinajstić, I. (2001). Turkestan elm - Ulmus pinnato-ramosa in 'The Dendroflora of Croatia', Šumarski list (:Journal of Forestry) 9–10, CXXV, 2001; 533–537.
  14. ^ Went, J. (1954). The Dutch Elm Disease – Summary of fifteen years' hybridization and selection work (1937–1952). European Journal of Plant Pathology. 02(1954); 60(2): 109–1276.
  15. ^ H. M., Heybroek; L, Goudzwaard; H., Kaljee (2009). Iep of olm, karakterboom van de Lage Landen (:Elm, a tree with character of the Low Countries). Centraal Boekhuis. p. 29. ISBN 978 9050112819.
  16. ^ Photograph in spring of tree (on left) labelled on trunk Ulmus pinnato-ramosa, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh File:Royal-Botanical-Gardens-Edinburgh.jpg
  17. ^ Johnson, O. (ed.). (2011). Champion Trees of Britain & Ireland. 300 pages. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London. ISBN 978-1842464526

External linksEdit