The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section IV. Deciduous Ornamental Trees

The common European elm. Ulmus campestris.

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The common European elm. (U. campestris.) This is the most commonly cultivated forest tree in Europe, next to the oak. It is a more upright growing tree than the White elm, though resembling it in the easy disposition and delicacy of its branches. The flowers, of a purple color, are produced in round bunches close to the stem. The leaves are rough, doubly serrated, and much more finely cut than those of our elms. It is a fine tree, 60 or 70 feet high, growing with rapidity, and is easily cultivated. The timber is more valuable than the American sort, though the tree is inferior to the White elm in beauty. There are some dozen or more fine varieties of this species cultivated in the English nurseries, among which the most remarkable are the Twisted elm (U. c. tortuosa), the trunk of which is singularly marked with hollows and protuberances, and the grain of the wood curiously twisted together: the Kidbrook elm (U. c. virens), which is a sub-evergreen: the Gold and Silver striped elms, with variegated leaves, and the Narrow-leaved elm (U. c. viminalis), which resembles the birch: the Cork-barked elm (U. c. suberosa), the young branches of which are covered with cork, etc. The latter is one of the hardiest and most vigorous of all ornamental trees in this climate. It thrives in almost every soil, and its rich, dark foliage, which hangs late in autumn, and its somewhat picturesque form, should recommend it to every planter.