The main thing do initially with slippery elm is to identify that it is indeed not an American elm. Slippery elm are not affected by Dutch elm disease so treating for Dutch elm disease would be not cost effective. The main difference is in leaf size. Slippery elm have a smaller sized leaf. Usually 2" from tip to the base of the leaf. While an American elm has a larger leaf. The other major difference in the leaf that you will notice by the feel is that a slippery elm has a smooth leaf. The American elm has a rougher feeling leaf.
Slippery elm is a great tree to plant aside from them spreading all over the place. This tree has seeds and plenty of them. They grow like weeds and are very easy to maintain. You do have to do some upkeep on trimming down the new little trees that will sprout. These trees grow to be very large and make for great shade trees. If you can get past the idea that you may need to pull up a couple of these trees every year they are perfect to plant.
The only diseases that they get are cosmetic and usually do not get bad enough to kill the tree completely. The root system is very vast and often protrudes from the ground. Covering protruded roots with fresh black dirt is completely safe for the health of your tree no matter the species of tree.
Slippery elm is very well know as a medicine for humans. It has been used dating back to native Indians where slippery elm was used for cuts, sore thoughts, bowel disease and everything in between. Now slippery elm has been tested to treat for certain types of cancer and lymes disease. Here are some things to look for in Slippery Elm: