18 responses to “Ulmus americana”

  1. Eric in SF

    Absolutely beautiful. Stark and serene.
    There are more waves of forest death coming across many different tree families.
    There are two tree blights raging in Northern California right now: Sudden Oak Death and Pine Pitch Canker. Sudden Oak death has gone nationwide, with quarantines of California nursery products to parts of the country that are SOD free.
    Pine pitch canker isn’t as aggressive but it’s speculated to be as bad over the long run for our Monterrey Pines as Dutch Elm Disease was for the elms.
    For more info, highlight each blight name with your mouse and right click. Most browsers have a feature where they send the highlighted text to a search engine for an inquiry.

  2. annie Morgan

    I like photo number three the best, and it is indeed reminiscent of the Group of Seven…I will go on a search to see which one. A great trio of photos, and a most interesting writeup.
    We had a marvellous old elm behind our house on the farm at Freelton, Ontario. At least 100 years old – and the new owners of our farm cut it down. My heart still breaks when I think of it.

  3. annie Morgan

    Oh, I missed the links – Lismer’s, for me!!

  4. Jim Irish

    In the late 60’s I remember seeing the streets of Detroit lined with large stately elms and the streets of the towns of northern NY also lined with elms. These were BIG trees. They were very tall and with the classic vase shape. Yes, at the time they were dying from DED. No street scapes can match the look.
    Elms self seed easily and can add an inch of DBH a year no problem. They grow super fast and even with DED there are plenty of big ones but few really big specimens.

  5. Ann Rein

    There is a beautiful, old American Elm on Main Street in Norwell, Massachusetts – I think I heard it was over 200 years old. It has never had a problem with Dutch Elm disease, thankfully.

  6. Karthik

    Any ideas on the unusual shape? It looks as if the tree wants/wanted most of its branches on one side.

  7. Phyllis

    These were planted in great numbers in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in the ’40s and ’50s. On some streets they form an arch over the street because they were planted on both sides. They are still beautiful. It was nice to see something from my neck of the woods, rather than the exotic on this site. Although the exotic plants make me stop and stare.

  8. Ian

    Best guess- ice storm and maybe more than one. The bending goes past the tree’s ability to straighten and in the years that follow, the apical dominance favors the growth on the upper side. Going further ‘out on a limb,’ I would say it happened a few decades ago.

  9. kcflowers

    I have an elm tree in my yard in Northern California. The county used to inspect it every year, but hasn’t had the money to continue the inspections for the past several years. I keep my fingers crossed for the continued health of the tree.

  10. Irma

    This is the best of winter to see the trees like this so graphic and artistic. And it also shows that you have to look at something from many angels you may discover something beautiful or interesting in everything.

  11. elizabeth a airhart

    i can feel the icey cold of the day
    the light blue of the sky is all frosty
    i too remember the elms from from my youth
    certain trees remain in your mind
    the paintings are very good i shall return
    whose woods are these are i think i know
    his house is in the village though;
    he will not see me stopping here
    to watch his woods fill up with snow
    robert frost bon jour daniel

  12. Ryan

    Although it is sad to see the decline of so many beautiful ancient trees, there is hope. New DED resistant cultivars have been introduced- both straight American Elm and hybrids. They include: New Harmony, Independance, Princeton, and (my favorite) Valley Forge. Hybrids include Accolade, Frontier, and New Horizon. Plus, there are many other species becoming available in the trade. Most of these are easy to propagate by cuttings (unless protected by patent). My nursery carries several.
    It is exciting to see this rugged yet graceful and beautiful tree making a comeback! Let’s be sure to take the lesson to heart though, and plan for diversity in our urban landscapes!

  13. Nancy

    Had one in my tree lawn in western NY, and altho’ it was infected, it still stands today. Must be about 100 years old now. I wonder if my old tree is one w/ some disease resistance.

  14. scott

    In Pennsylvania we still have a few big old elms hanging in there. See this link http://www.pabigtrees.com/trees/species/ulmus_elm.htm to the state champion web page and images of them. Elm Yellows is now killing the elms that were able to make it through the DED epidemic. Unfortunately there is no treatment for Elm Yellows as there was for DED. Things look bleak for the species.

  15. Bruce Dancik

    Daniel, there are large populations of Ulmus americana in cities across the Canadian prairies, primarily because the distance between them is too great for the beetles that carry the disease (and there are vast stretches between with no elms). I am told that Edmonton has the largest population of adult American elms in the world now (I’ve heard numbers of 50,000 +/-, but I’m not sure what the actual total number of street trees is). There are some lovely neighbourhoods around Old Glenora and the University that have elms lining and over-arching the streets. I should send a photograph or two to you sometime.

  16. AJ

    A lot of these grow in the Roanoke River flood plain in North Carolina. Some beautiful old trees, some up to 100cm diameter at breast height. One of the most elegant ones I have seen was a 104 DBH that had the top blown out of it. It was only about 7 meters tall. Huge branches, fully leafed out, stretched horizontally out to about 7 meters. On the top of the blown out trunk were some feathery Eupatorium capillifolium. It was lovely.

  17. Ann

    I live across from a small swamp (in NJ) that’s full of American Elms. Seems like they get to about 6″ in diameter and then they die. That’s old enough to produce seeds, though; there are lots of young ones.

  18. Deb Lievens

    Nice tip about the links, Eric. Thanks.

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