How to Plant a Camperdown Elm Tree


Named after Scotland's Earl of Camperdown, the camperdown elm (Ulmus glabra) is a deciduous tree prized for its weeping habit and dark green leaves. Although the tree was originally a cultivar of the Wych elm, today it is also grafted onto the Dutch elm and the Siberian elm. The camperdown elm tree explodes in yellow flowers in the spring and then golden leaves in the fall. Growing to a height of 30 feet with an equal spread, the camperdown elm tolerates drought, cold, heat and humidity. The camperdown elm tree is hardy to USDA zones 5 to 7.

Step 1

Choose a planting site for the camperdown elm tree. The site should be in an area that gets sunshine in the morning and has deep, well-drained soil. The camperdown can tolerate any type of soil, even clay.

Step 2

Dig a hole that is the same depth but three times the width of the pot in which the camperdown elm is growing. Use the gardening fork to scrape the bottom and sides of the hole to make it easier for the roots to penetrate. Remove the tree from the pot and lower it into the hole. If the tree is bareroot, pull the burlap covering away from the rootball and push it down to the bottom of the hole. Fill the hole with soil, packing it down as you go to remove any air pockets.

Step 3

Create a water well completely surrounding the tree. A water well is a mound of compacted soil, 5 inches in width and 8 inches in height. Place the ring of soil 1 foot away from the base of the tree. Fill the water well with water and allow it to drain.

Step 4

Lay down a 3-inch layer of organic mulch, keeping it at least 3 inches from the trunk of the tree but completely circling it. The mulch should be placed within the water well.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Organic mulch
  • Gardening fork


  • Backyard Gardener: Ulmus glabra
  • "The Gardener's Guide to Planting and Growing Trees;" Michael Buffin; 2007
Keywords: how to plant a camperdown elm tree, growing camperdown elms, how to plant an elm tree

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.