Campus Arboretum Commemorative Tree
A “Valley Forge” American elm is dedicated to the Opening Ceremony of the UMD Campus Arboretum. This “Valley Forge” American elm (Ulmus americana) is located near the east side of Anne Arundel Hall, towards Dorchester Hall. This one is only 10.0 feet tall, but the American elm is a medium-large deciduous tree that grows up to 60-80 feet tall. It has oval-shaped, dark green leaves that turn yellow in autumn1. It is native to eastern and central North America and blooms with small, green flowers in March-April, followed by samaras, paper-like fruit structures that house the tree’s seeds2. The American elm is large, graceful and vase-shaped - it is widest at the top and forks into several branches and branchlets, providing a lot of shade. Because of its shape and tolerance to urban conditions, it is often planted to line streets, since the branches meet to form a large arch to allow pedestrians and vehicles to pass under3. However, the American elm has been targeted by the Dutch elm disease, and its populations are dwindling as a result2. However, the “Valley Forge” variant of the American elm, a U.S. National Arboretum introduction with the “classic American elm” look, is often chosen for landscapes because of its resistance to the disease1.
Unfortunately, this tree sustained heavy damage during high winds in August 2019 and had to be removed. Plans are in place to replace the tree.
Written by Joanna Barton