Albert Francis Blakeslee.

Trees in winter; their study, planting, care and identification online

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ing in spring.

C03IPARIS0NS — The Slippery Elm is easily distinguished from the
common White Elm and the rarer Cork Elm by its rough gray twigs,
its dark buds covered with long rusty hairs and by the strongly
mucilaginous character of the inner bark of the trunk and even, though
to a somewhat less extent, of the twigs, and further from the White
Elm by the absence of distinct white layers in the outer bark.

DISTRIBUTION — Rich, low grounds; low, rocky woods and hillsides.
Valley of the St. Lawrence, apparently not abundant; south to Florida;
west to North Dakota and Texas.

IN NEW ENGLAND — Maine — District of Maine, rare; Waterborough,
(York county); New Hampshire — valley of the Connecticut, usually
disappearing within ten miles of the river; ranges as far north as the
mouth of the Passumpsic; Vermont — frequent; Massachusetts — rare in
the eastern sections, frequent westward; Connecticut — rare to frequent;
Rhode Island — infrequent.

WOOD — Heavy, hard, strong, very coarse-grained, durable, easy to
split, dark brown or red, with thin lighter colored sapwood; largely
used for fence posts, railroad ties, the sills of buildings, the hubs of
wheels and in agricultural implements. The thick fragrant mucil-
aginous inner bark is used in medicine as a demulcent and is some-
what nutritious.

Slippery Elm



Ulmus campestris L.
U. glabra Mill.

HABIT — A large tree reaching 100 ft. in height; trunk erect, gen-
erally continuous well into the crown, with branches given off at a
broad angle and continued horizontally or inclined upward, not drooping
at the ends in the graceful curves characteristic of the American White
Elm, producing rather an Oak-like appearance with an oblong round-
topped head.

BARK — Dark, with ridges broken transversely into firm oblong blocks.

T^VIGS — Similar to the White Elm but generally a darker reddish-
brown, usually smooth or somewhat downy.

LiEAR-SCARS — Similar to the White Elm, bundle-scars frequently
more than 3.

BIDS — Similar to the White Elm but of a dark smoky brown color
or almost black, smooth or more or less hairy. BUD-SCALES — nearly
uniform in color.

FRl IT — A flat, ovate, smooth, entire-winged fruit, ripening in spring.

COMPARISONS — The erect Oak-like habit, the firm blocked ridges
of the bark, and the smoky smoothish buds will serve to distinguish
the English Elm from its American cousins. There are a number of
varieties of the English Elm differing in habit of growth, one form
having corky ridges. We have described the most familiar type.

DISTRIBUTION — The English Elm is not confined to England but
like the English sparrow occurs through Europe. It is not native to
America but was considerably planted formerly in the eastern sections
especially in Boston and vicinity, where some fine old specimens are to
be found. The trees in the plate were taken from Boston Common, the
two at the right being English Elms, while the smaller one, indistinctly
outlined at the left, is an American White Elm. They have all been
rather severely pruned on account of insect depredations.

WOOD — Heavy, hard, fine-grained, durable in water, not liable to
crack when exposed to sun or weather; used in Europe for ships' blocks
and other wooden parts of rigging, for the keels of ships, for pumps
and water pipes, piles and other construction under water and for the
hubs of wheels.

English Elm



American or Water Elm.

Ulmus americana L.

HABIT — A larg-e tree 50-110 ft. in height with a trunk diameter of
1-S ft.; trunk more or less widely buttressed, dividing- high up into
a number of large limbs which grow upward, and bend gradually and
gracefully outward, dividing repeatedly to form a broad, round or
fiat-topped inversely conical head with drooping branchlets. In respect
to its general outline various types of the Elm have been distinguished
as the "Vase Form" shown in the photograph; the "Umbrella Form"
with trunk undivided to near the top with abruptly spreading branches
forming a broad shallow arch; the "Plume Form" with a one-sided
development of drooping branches from a tall trunk; the "Oak Form"
with more tortuous and less arching limbs forming a wide rounded
head;- the "Feathered Form," a modification of any of the other types
with the trunk fringed with short branches.

BARK — Dark gray, divided by irregular longitudinal fissures into
broad flat-topped ridges, rather firm though sometimes in very old
trees coming off in flakes; the bark is internally stratified by thick
conspicuovisly whitish layers alternating with layers of a dark brown
(see plate for section of a ridge of bark).

TAVIGS — Slender, smooth or slightly or sometimes densely downy,
light reddish-brown, often tinged with'yellow, very slightly mucilagin-
ous if chewed. LENTICELS — pale, scattered, more or less inconspicuous.

LEAF-SCARS — Alternate, 2-ranked, semi-circular, raised, small but
conspicuous because of contrast in color between the light corky surface
of the scar and the darker brown of the twig. STIPULE-SCARS —
narrow, minute, sometimes indistinct. BUNDLE-SCARS — relatively large,
conspicuous, typically 3 in number though often more by compound-
ing of single scars, generally sunken in depressions of the leaf-scar.

BIDS — Terminal bud absent; lateral buds small, often placed at one
side of leaf-scar, ovate-conical, pointed, about 4 mm. long, slightly
flattened and more or less appressed against the twig, light reddish-
brown, smooth and shining or slightly pale-downy; flower buds stouter,
obovate, appearing as if stalked. BUD-SCALES — about 6-9 to a leaf-
bud in 2 ranks, increasing in size from without inward, generally
with darker and more or less hairy-edged margins.

FRFIT — A flat, oval, terminally deeply notched, winged fruit, hairy-
fringed on edges, ripening in spring and scarcely to be found in winter.

COMPARISONS — The White Elm differs from the Slippery Elm in the
whitish layers of the bark, the absence of rusty hairs on the buds
and the brownish color of its relatively smooth twigs. From the Cork
Elm it may be separated by its habit of growth and by the absence.
of corky ridges on the twigs. The graceful drooping habit of growth
of its branches and the light reddish brown of its buds are sufficient
to distinguish the American from the English Elm.

DISTRIBt'TIOX — Low, moist ground, thrives especially on rich inter-
vales. Frequently planted as a street and shade tree. From Cape Breton
to Saskatchewan, as far north as 54° 30'; south to Florida; west to
Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Texas.

IN NEW ENGLAND — Maine — common, most abundant in central and
southern portions; New Hampshire — common from the southern base of
the T\^hite Mountains to the sea; in the remaining New England states —
very common, attaining its highest development in the rich alluvium
of the Connecticut river valley.

AA^OOn — Heavv, hard, strong, tough, diflicult to split, coarse-grained,
light brown, with thick somewhat lighter colored sapwood. largely
used for the hubs of wheels, saddle-trees, in flooring and cooperage,
and in boat and ship building.

^^ '^4^*



Whiti^ Elm



Rock Elm, Hickory Elm, Northern Cork Elm.

Ulmus racemosa Thomas.
U. Thomasi Sarg.

HABIT— A large tree 50-75 ft. in height, with a trunk diameter of
2-3 ft., in southern Michigan .reaching 100 ft. in height with a trunk
diameter of 5 ft.; trunk slender, erect, generally continuous into the
crown, developing numerous slender rigid branches arising at a wide
angle, those below generally strongly drooping near the point of origin
forming a narrow, oblong, round-topped head having somewhat the
aspect of a Hickory with short twiggy, generally corky-ridged branches
in the interior of the tree. A young tree showing corky-ridged
branchlets and an old tree showing a more characteristic habit though
with rather long trunk for the open, are shown in the plate.

BARK — On young trunks more deeply furrowed than in the White
Elm, becoming with age flat-ridged, resembling the latter species.

TAVIGS — More or less downy, resembling twigs of White Elm but
generally developing several irregular thick corky ridges not inter-
rupted at the nodes.

L.EAF-SCARS — Alternate, 2-ranked, resembling those of White Elm
but with bundle-scars generally more than 3 (4-6).

BUDS — Terminal bud absent; lateral buds similar to those of White
Elm but longer (about 5 mm. long) narrower, sharp-pointed, scarcely
flattened, generally downy. BUD-SCALES — with darker and hairy-edged

FRriT — A flat, oval, downy, shallow-notched, winged fruit, with
hairy-fringed margins ripening in spring.

COMPARISONS— In Hickory-like habit the Cork Elm differs from
all our other Elms. The corky ridges on the twigs, moreover, occur
on no other native New England Elm. The Winged Elm [Ulmus alata
Michx.], a native of the south, is rarely cultivated in southern New
England but is not hardy north. It h v.3 two opposite thin corky ridges
which are abruptly interrupted at the nodes. A variety of the English
Elm has several corky ridges to the twig which are interrupted at
the nodes. The Cork Elm differs further from the White and especially
from the Slippery Elm in its narrower buds.

DISTRIBUTION — Dry, gravelly soils, rich soils, river banks. Quebec
through Ontario; south to Tennessee; west to Minnesota, Iowa,
Nebraska, and Missouri. Occasionally planted as an ornamental shade

IN NEW ENGLAND — Maine — not reported; New Hampshire — rare and
extremely local; Meriden and one or two other places; Vermont — rare,
Bennington, Pownal, Knowlton, Highgate. comparatively abundant in
Champlain valley and westward; Massachusetts — rare; Connecticut and
Rhode Island — not reported native.

W^OOD — Heavy, hard, very strong and tough, close-grained and dif-
ficvilt to split, light clear brown, often tinged with red with thick,
lighter colored sapwood; largely used in the manufacture of many
agricultural implements, for the framework of chairs, hubs of wheels,
railroad ties, the sills of buildings and other purposes demanding
toughness, solidity and flexibility.

Cork Elm



Sugar Berry, Nettle Tree, False Elm, Hoop Ash.

Celtis occidentalis L.

HABIT — A small to medium sized tree 20-45 ft. in height with a trunk
diameter up to 2 ft., reaching- over 100 ft, in height further south;
rather variable in habit, generally forming a flattish to round-topped
wide-spreading, oblong head with somewhat the aspect of an Elm;
branches numerous, horizontal or slightly drooping, more or less zigzag;
spray slender; berry-like fruit generally persistent throughout the

BARK — Grayish-brown, on trunk and older limbs roughened with
narrow projecting ridges which are sometimes reduced to warts or are
almost entirely lacking.

TAVIGS — Slender, somewhat zigzag, brownish, more or less shining,
more or less downy; wood of twigs light greenish yellow when
moistened. LENTICELS — scattered, raised and more or less elongated
longitudinally. PITH — white, finely chambered.

L.EAF-SCARS — Alternate, 2-ranked, small, semi-oval, placed at right
angles to the twig on a projecting cushion. STIPULE-SCARS — present,
elongated, inconspicuous. BUNDLE-SCARS — appearing as a single con-
fluent scar, evidently 3 in surface section.

BUDS — Small, 6mm. or generally under in length, downy, chestnut
brown, ovate, sharp-pointed, flattened, appressed; terminal bud absent.
Buds frequently transformed into insect galls (swellings on left hand
twig). BUD-SCALES — 3-4 visible, closely overlapping in two ranks in-
creasing in size from without inward, longitudinally striate if viewed
toward light, generally dark margined.

FRUIT — A small purplish, more or less spherical stone-fruit on long,
slender stems. 7-10 mm. in diameter, often remaining on tree throughout
winter. Flesh edible, sweet as is also the seed inside the stone.

COMPARISONS — The Hackberry is often taken for an Elm. The warts
or narrow ridges on its bark, however, and its chambered pith readily
distinguish it from the Elm if the berry-like fruit which is generally
present fails to be found. The twigs are so frequently disfigured by
insect galls that their presence might almost be given as a distinguishing

DISTRIBUTION — In divers situations and soils; woods, river banks,
near salt marshes. Province of Quebec to Lake of the Woods, occa-
sional; south to the Gulf states; west to Minnesota and Missouri.

IN NEW ENGLAND — Maine — not reported; New Hampshire — sparingly
along the Connecticut valley, as far as Wells river; Vermont — along
Lake Champlain, not common; Norwich and Windsor on the Connecti-
cut; Massachusetts — occasional throughout the state; Connecticut — Oc-
casional to frequent, especially in river valleys and along the coast;
Rhode Island — common.

W^OOD — Heavy, rather soft, not strong, coarse-grained, clear light
yellow, with thick lighter colored sapwood; largely used for fencing
and the manufacture of cheap furniture.



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Online LibraryAlbert Francis BlakesleeTrees in winter; their study, planting, care and identification → online text (page 24 of 31)