Elm Lumber

Minnesota Elm - Making a Comeback


Once an important commercial hardwood species in Minnesota, Elm was nearly wiped out by Dutch Elm Disease in the second half of the 20th Century.  A small but resilient population remains, but eventually all natural Elm trees succumb to DED.  Rajala Forestry identifies every Elm tree on its lands, from a young age, and promotes their health and growth.  Individual trees that exhibit exceptional strength and quality are left to provide seed in hopes that over time the genetics will lift the resilience of the entire population.  Diseased trees are harvested for use in MTM products, in a size range of 6" to 12" diameter.

Elm historically was a cherished wood for furniture making.  It is a medium light colored wood with medium texture.  It has a unique interwoven grain pattern, making it a challenge to mill properly.  Rajala and MTM have a long history of knowing how to work with Elm.  It makes tremendous Paneling and Flooring.  MTM is able to offer Elm in small quantities for special projects.  Due to its limited availability, it is offered as a full mix of grades, with individual pieces ranging from Select to Rustic.  There is a modest amount of gorgeous "spalting" due to the fact that many of the trees we harvest are in advanced stages of decay.  This adds a touch of the Elm history and story to any project.

Grades of Wood


Elegant selection with consistent grain, minimal small knots, and overall smooth character.  Excellent choice for a more refined look.


Varying amounts of excellent tight characteristics including medium size knots, streaks, bark pockets, and grain variation.  This grade is excellent for a higher character look than Select, but not entirely Rustic either.


This exciting grade provides the highest degree of character, with a wide range of knot sizes, streaks, a few holes and torn knots, and occasional heavy bark deposits.  Rustic grade can appear a bit "loose" when unfinished, but with Prefinish applied the character holds together beautifully and really pops.  This grade continues to grow in popularity, even in high end applications.

MTM is able to mix the grades in any combination to give you the exact look you are after.  Some species (such as Elm) are limited in quantity and are only offered as a full mix of grades.  A few species are unavailable in Select grade due to the natural characteristics of the tree (Tamarack).