American elm is the State Tree of Massachusetts. Ulmus americana is the scientific name of American elm and it is commonly known as American elm. It is also called white elm, water elm, soft elm, or Florida elm. Ulmus is the genus of the American elm and U. americana is its species. The Massachusetts’s State tree American elm is belongs from the family of Ulmaceae, which is commonly native to eastern North America, naturally occurring from Nova Scotia west to Alberta and Montana, and south to Florida and central Texas. When a state bodies select a symbol for the state it should be represent extra ordinary design, quality, availability, expression, and usefulness, cultural, traditional and religious back ground, which go back thousands of years or its popularities. It is well-known tree all over the state Massachusetts for its distinctive beauty. On the basis of the facts mentioned above, on March 21, 1941 the American elm was designated as the official state tree of Massachusetts. It is not only the State tree of Massachusetts but it is also State tree of North Dakota.
The Facts of the State Tree of Massachusetts [American elm]
- Common names: American elm is commonly known as white elm, water elm, soft elm, or Florida elm.
- Genus: Ulmus
- Species: Ulmus americana
- Found in: It is native to eastern North America, naturally occurring from Nova Scotia west to Alberta and Montana, and south to Florida and central Texas.
- Leaf: The leaves of the American elm are alternately arranged. It length are in between 3 to 6 inches long, 1 to 3 inches broad; margin are coarse and sharply twice as serrate. The base of the leaves is conspicuously unsymmetrical; upper surface are glabrous or somewhat scabrous and the underside is paler.
- Flower: The flowers of the American elm are protogynous. The female parts of the flower are maturing before the male, which occurs reducing but not eliminating. It is self-fertilized, and appears in March to May before the leaves.
- Fruit: The fruits of the American elm are a rounded, flat, papery, wafer-like samaras, 2 cm long by 1.5 cm broad, intensely notched at apex, hairless except for margin; appears April to May.
- Twig: Slender, glabrous, slightly zigzag, reddish-brown; buds over 1/4 inch long, reddish-brown with darker border scales, often positioned a little to one side of the twig.
- Bark: The bark of the American elm is dark, ashy-gray in color, flat-topped edge alienated by diamond-shaped fractures; when sectioned, the outer bark shows distinctive, alternating, buff colored and reddish-brown patches. When juvenile it is frequently rather spongy.
- Form: In the open, the trunk is as a rule separated into a number of large, climbing and arching limbs, ending in a labyrinth of graceful drooping branches.
- Purpose: ornamental.
- Symbolism: Communication and Relationships, fertility, success, faith, sacrifice, hope.
The Massachusetts’s State tree American elm is native across the state and frequently is found in street plantings, lawns, and parks; along narrower streets, it is planted on reverse sides arch and merge together into a leafy awning over the asphalt road. Though, elms can presume various sizes and forms, which depend on the site and temperature zone. The American elm prefers average, medium moisture, well-drained soils, rich, moist loams and full sunny environment. It can grow in both wet and dry place and well tolerant of urban condition. When the American elm are growing in the forest it often attains a height of 120 feet, but in the open it is wide-spreading and of smaller height. The leaves are oval and dark green, which are become clear yellow in the autumn. The American elm has been severely afflicted by Elm Disease like other elms.
The American elm tree has several medicinal properties, such as, infusions from the inner root bark used as the remedy of colds, coughs, diarrhea, internal bleeding, and fever. It can apply to external wounds, or drink to ease menstrual problems. As the wood of American elm tree, it was distinctively valuable timbers, which are used for lumber, furniture and veneer. Early settler and Native Americans made canoes, barrels and wheel hoops.
To sum up, American elm tree is the people’s favorite State Tree of Massachusetts, which symbolized Communication and Relationships, fertility, success, faith, sacrifice, and hope. Although it is an official State tree symbol of Massachusetts, it outstandingly represents and glorifies the spirit of Massachusetts culture.