9. English Elm

(Ulmus procera)

Other Common Names: Atinian Elm, Cork Elm

Family: Ulmaceae

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English Elms shade Stevens Way in front of Roberts Hall. Procera means lofty. Their lower branches were removed, but numerous suckers reappear annually, often developing distinctive corky flanges. The leaves are dark, raspy, and lopsided. Late in fall they fade to an unspectacular gold before dropping. In earliest spring the twigs become wreathed with tiny purplish flowers, followed by thousands of pale wafer-like winged seeds. The seeds are always sterile, and decay readily. This elm is reproduced solely by suckers.

English Elms prefer full sun and moist soils and are tolerant of atmospheric pollution. The inner bark of this tree is tough and has been used to make ropes and mats. The wood of English Elm is close-grained, has few knots, and is durable under water.  Because of this the wood has been used to make water pipes, wheels, mallet heads, and ship keels. The leaves, fruits, and bark of this tree have been used for many edible and medicinal purposes.

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