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American Elm (ulmus Americana)

Distinguishing characters: The tree can be told at a glance by its

general branching habit. The limbs arch out into a wide-spreading

*fan or vase-like crown* which loses itself in numerous fine

drooping branchlets. See Fig. 37.

Leaf: The leaves are simple, alternate, and from 2 to 5 inches long.

Form and size: It is a tall tree with a trunk that divides a short

distance above ground. Its general contour, together with the

numerous branches that interlace its massive crown, give the elm an

interesting and stately appearance which is unequaled by any other


Range: Eastern North America.

Soil and location: The elm prefers a deep, rich and moist soil, but will

adapt itself even to the poor soil of the city street.

Enemies: _The leopard moth_, a wood-boring insect, and the _elm leaf

beetle_, a leaf-eating insect, are the two most important enemies of

the tree. Their ravages are very extensive.

Value for planting: The tree has a character of its own which cannot be

duplicated for avenue or lawn planting.

Commercial value: The wood is strong and tough and therefore has a

special value for cooperage, agricultural implements, carriages, and


Other characters: The _buds_ are small, brown, and smooth, while those

of the European elms are covered with down. The _small side twigs_

come out at almost right angles to the larger terminal twigs, which

is not the case in other species of elm.

Other common names: _White elm_.

Comparisons: The _English elm_ (_Ulmus campestris_) is also a tall,

dignified tree commonly seen under cultivation in America, but may

be told from the American species by the difference in their general

contour. The branches of the English species spread out but do not

arch like those of the American elm, and the bark of the English elm

is darker and coarser, Fig. 38. Little tufts of dead twigs along the

main branches and trunk of the tree are characteristic of the

English elm and will frequently help to distinguish it from the

American elm.

The _Camperdown elm_ may be recognized readily by its dwarf size and

its low drooping umbrella-shaped crown.

Tree Studies

How To Identify Trees
Group I The Pines
The White Pine (pinus Strobus)
The Pitch Pine (pinus Rigida)
The Scotch Pine (pinus Sylvestris)
Group Ii The Spruce And Hemlock
The Norway Spruce (picea Excelsa)
Hemlock (tsuga Canadensis)
Group Iii The Red Cedar And Arbor-vitae
Red Cedar (juniperus Virginiana)
Arbor-vitae; Northern White Cedar (thuja Occidentalis)
Group Iv The Larch And Cypress
The European Larch (larix Europaea)
Bald Cypress (taxodium Distichum)
Group V The Horsechestnut, Ash And Maple
The Horsechestnut
The White Ash (fraxinus Americana)
Sugar Maple (acer Saccharum)
Silver Maple (acer Saccharinum)
Red Maple (acer Rubrum)
Norway Maple (acer Platanoides)
Box Elder (acer Negundo)
Group Vi Trees Told By Their Form: Elm, Poplar, Gingko And Willow
American Elm (ulmus Americana)
Lombardy Or Italian Poplar (populus Nigra, Var Italica)
Gingko Or Maidenhair Tree (gingko Biloba)
Weeping Willow (salix Babylonica)
Group Vii Trees Told By Their Bark Or Trunk: Sycamore, Birch, Beech,
Blue Beech, Ironwood, And Hackberry
The Sycamore Or Plane Tree (platanus Occidentalis)
Gray Or White Birch (betula Populifolia)
American Beech (fagus Americana)
Blue Beech Or Hornbeam (carpinus Caroliniana)
Hackberry (celtis Occidentalis)
Group Viii The Oaks And Chestnut
White Oak (quercus Alba)
Black Oak (quercus Velutina)
Red Oak (quercus Rubra)
Pin Oak (quercus Palustris)
Chestnut (castanea Dentata)
Group Ix The Hickories, Walnut And Butternut
Shagbark Hickory (hicoria Ovata)
Mockernut Hickory (hicoria Alba)
Black Walnut (juglans Nigra)
Group X Tulip Tree, Sweet Gum, Linden, Magnolia, Locust, Catalpa,
Dogwood, Mulberry And Osage Orange
Tulip Tree (liriodendron Tulipifera)
Sweet Gum (liquidambar Styraciflua)
American Linden (tilia Americana)
The Magnolias