THE ELMS There are four native species of the genus limns in the eastern half of the United States. They are valuable lumber and shade trees. All have rough, furrowed bark. but they vary in size and shape. They have one-sided leaves, which are ovate, straight-ribbed, saw-toothed, and borne in two-ranked fashion on the twigs.
The flowers are small, and appear before the leaves in clusters from side buds. Each flower has a calyx with scalloped edges, a fringe of four to nine stamens hanging far out, and a central ovary. The seed is flat, and entirely surrounded by a thin papery wing. It ripens and falls in May before the leaves are fully open.
The Wal or lop Winved Elm.
- • ----- Ulnuts alatet, is a small tree which grows from Virginia southward, and west to Arkansas and Texas. Its leaves are the smallest among the ems. Its seeds are long and have flaring tips. The distinguishing marks of this tree are the corky, winged ridges on its twigs and .
The Cork Elm, Utinas oterninsil, is a large, coarse tree with rough, corky ridges on most of the branches. Its buds, twigs and fruits are hairy. The flowers are borne in raceme4. The fruits are oval, and have in clining tips. This tree grows from Quebec west to Minnesota and Nebraska, and south as far as Tennessee. It is also known as Cliff Elm. Rock Elm, and Swamp Elm. Its wood is heavy. and brownish red in color.
The, Slippery Elm, U I »01N falca, is also called Red Elm and Moose Elm, because its wood is red, and moose are fond of browsing its young shoots. The bark is rough, gray and fragrant. The leaves are large, harsh and doubly serrate. The winter buds have rusty hairs. The tree is best known by its sweet mucilaginous inner bark, which is much sought l)y the small boy in spring. The Slippery Elm has a wayward habit of growth. It has generally an unsvmnietrical form when growing where it has plenty of room. There seems to be no co-ordinating influ ence at work to shape the head. Each branch starts out on its own account. The tree becomes more shapely when close tree neighbors, by crowding it, take a hand in its bringing up. The Slippery Elm is very generally distributed as far west as the Dakotas and Texas.
Our common Elm, known also as American, White. and Water Elm, C7»ors mericow, excels all other species in height and beauty. The largest specimens reach one hundred and twenty feet, with a trunk diameter of eleven feet. The bark of this tree is gray and flaky. The twigs are round and smooth and brown. The, branches are smooth, and the little twigs turn back instead of forward along the sides of the terminal shoots. Tice fat brown buds are set a little askew above the leaf scars which alternate along the sides of the twigs. The plumpest of these buds open in early spring, and the leafless twigs are decked with delicate reddish green blossoms, which speedily change to pale green pendants. These are the seeds. They ripen and fall while the leafy shoots are unfolding from the slenderer buds. The leaves are alternate, two-ranked, and have 3 fashion of arranging themselves so as to present almost a continuous leaf area to the sun. Leaves of varying sizes fill in every little corner to which the sunlight comes. This leaf mosaic" is not confined to the elms. It may be seen in almost any broad-leaved tree or shrub. it is especially noticeable on the south edge of a dense wood.
There are several distinct types of Our eonnnon Elm. (1) The vase form." In this the branches spread gradually at first, hilt at a consid erable, height sweep out boldly. forming a broad and flattish head. The tips of the branches droop more or less. Tins is the ,commonest and must beautiful form. and is best realized by old trees which have had plenty of room. ( ) The plume form." In this the two or three main limbs rise to a great height before branching, and then break into a feathery spray. (3 ) The --oak tree form." I lore is a horizontal habit of branching. (4) The ‘- weeping willow form." This has a short trunk, from which the branches ell I'Ve Vapidly OlUtM1111S until they end dripping" branchlets. CO The feathered elm.•' This is marked by a fringe of short which outline the trunk and limbs. This feathering o is caused hy the development of latent buds. It may occur in any of the previous types, but is most noticeable in the plumy elms.