An American elm at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., estimated to be more than 200 years old. They prefer full sun to light shade and moist, fertile loamy soil. They can tolerate drier areas as well as clay, silt, or sand. Temporary flooding is OK during the winter, but good drainage is required during the growing season. They are fast growers. You can plant American elms in your lawn, an abandoned meadows or as a street tree or shade tree. Elms are striking in the landscape, so plant where you can enjoy them! Keep a large mulch ring around the tree to reduce grass competition and damage from lawn implements. The mulch will also keep the soil moist and the roots cool. If you keep the tree as free from stress as possible, it will be more likely to ward off disease of any kind.