Is It Necessary To Remove Old Mulch Before Placing New The American Elm Tree, The Tree of the Future

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The American Elm Tree, The Tree of the Future

If you are a gardener, plant for the future. Every time you put a seed, bulb, plant or tree in the ground, you are placing your trust in the future growth and development of something special. You understand with perennials, for example, they can spread and grow long after you’re gone. So why not invest in an American Elm, a tree for the future?

History of the American Elm

When early settlers first came to America, they discovered the American Elm tree. Through trial and error, they discovered that its extremely strong and durable wood could be used for both lumber and furniture making. The wood was flexible enough, when steamed and bent, that it could even be used to make rocking chairs, barrels and wheel rims. Native Americans in the area also used the elm tree to build canoes for their water forays.

Unfortunately, in the 1930s, beetles infected elm trees with Dutch elm disease, a deadly fungus. When the fungus enters the tree, it reproduces in the parts of the tree that conduct water in the stems and branches. Fungi work by blocking the movement of water in the leaves of the tree. As a result, the leaves wither and die. This nasty fungus can kill a mature 100-foot tree within two to four years. Also because of the shallow root system where the roots of other elms can touch, Dutch elm disease can spread to other elms very easily. So the American Elm was almost wiped out.

Facts about the American Elm

The American Elm is a beautiful majestic tree. It is a fast-growing tree and can reach up to 100 meters in height. The width of a ripe elf on its glorious branches is almost as wide. An elm at its peak maturity can have a trunk span of nearly 7 feet around. It is shaped like an urn, with a sprawling wreath of symmetrical branches at the top. The bark is an interesting feature, dark gray brown in color with many broad ridges and unique diamond fissures at the front. The leaf is about 3-5 inches long. It has double serrated edges, 1 to 3 inches wide, and has about 15 pairs of veins. The front of the leaf is green and smooth to the touch, while the underside is pale and has a downy feel. Elli has fruits that develop in clusters on long brown stems. The elf seed is elongated with dots at the tip and is covered with a papery skin. An elm tree prefers a pH of 5.5 to 8.0 and rich, well-drained soil. However, it will also grow in compacted soil or soil that is poorly drained and in full sun or partial shade. It likes wetlands and moist areas, but will adapt and thrive in urban conditions. Will grow in Zones 2 through 9.

A new future

Although the damage to the American Elm was massive and nearly wiped out the species, there is hope. The Princeton American elm is giving new life to the species. DNA tests have shown that the Princeton Elm came from a 280-year-old American Elm tree. This tree is in Princeton Cemetery and Vice President Aaron Burr stands under it. This American Elm is highly resistant to Dutch Elm Disease. Princeton is also resistant to elm leaf beetle, another pest. So cuttings are made to start new elm trees to propagate the American Elm. A cutting is used because the genetic resistance of Princeton Elms can be passed down through the lineage. If seedlings are used, there is a possibility that the resistance will not pass otherwise. Princeton has the beautiful urn shape of the American Elm and has the best shape of all the Ulmus cultivars.

What can you do?

You can plant an American Elm tree for the future. These trees are extremely large, so give them plenty of space. If you plant several, space them 20-50 feet apart. Use 3-6 inches of organic mulch to help maintain moisture levels. Avoid placing mulch against the tree truck to prevent the tree from rotting. Prune the tree once a year and remove dead or dying branches when the tree is young. As the tree matures, prune less and don’t prune all of it during the growing season. Use the right fertilizer and if you’re not sure what it is, ask a professional.

Gardeners are the custodians of the past and the custodians of the future. Please do your part by making sure this beautiful tree is here for generations to come.

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