Color/Appearance: Heartwood is light to medium reddish brown. Paler sapwood is usually well defined.
Grain/Texture:Grain is interlocked (making it very resistant to splitting). With a somewhat coarse, uneven texture.
Endgrain: Ring-porous; large to very large earlywood pores in a continuous row two to four pores wide, small latewood pores in wavy bands; tyloses occasionally present in earlywood; growth rings distinct; parenchyma vasicentric and confluent; medium rays, spacing normal.
Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable; susceptible to insect attack. Living trees are susceptible to Dutch elm disease.
Workability: Can be a challenge to work because of interlocked grain, especially on quartersawn surfaces. Planing can cause tearout and/or fuzzy surfaces. Poor dimensional stability. Glues, stains, and finishes well. Responds well to steam bending, and holds nails and screws well.
Odor:Elm usually has a strong, unpleasant smell when green; though once dried has very little odor.