Spring Garden Tips
January 12-24 Birth Tree is the Elm

If your birthday falls between January 12th and 24th your birth tree is the Elm. You are said to be cheerful, noble minded, have a good sense of humor and are practical.

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mgm audio 011314 jan tree elmThe elm has a long history in native and urban landscapes. Many remember the American elm lined streets of the past. Unfortunately, Dutch elm disease wiped out most of these trees.

Use a Dutch elm resistant cultivar like Valley Forge, New Harmony, Princeton and Delaware #2 if you plan on gifting or planting an American elm in your landscape. They have the characteristic vase shape, but have exhibited good Dutch elm disease resistance.

Better yet, consider the Chinese elm also know as lacebark elm. The smaller leaves and exfoliating bark add to its ornamental appeal. It is a tough and durable tree and can be found throughout the grounds of Disney World in Orlando FL.

A bit more information: Don't mistake the beautiful lacebark elm (Ulmus parvifolia) with the much inferior Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila) that is often mistakenly called Chinese elm. For a unique look consider a Camperdown, Pendula or Horizontalis cultivar of the Scotch elm. They add interesting form and texture to the landscape.

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The stately American elm once lined the streets of most American cities. Dutch Elm Disease wiped out as many as nine out of ten of these trees since the 1930's. This loss taught us the importance of diversity in landscape design and street tree plantings. There is, however, good news for those that miss the American Elm.

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