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More Planting For The Future, Or My Apology To Elm Trees.

October 16, 2013

Several readers yesterday took me to task for not showing enough love to Elm trees. (Planting For The Future.) One friend described a majestic 75 year old Elm that graces his yard in Chicago’s Norther suburbs.

I’ll admit that I don’t know a lot about trees. I was a scout leader for 20 years, so I can tell you the basics; Oak, Elm, Maple, Cottonwood, Pine, Fir, Hemlock, Cedar, Dogwood, Willow, cherry, apple, peach. . .maybe I do know a little about trees. But, the point is that after you get past the main type “Maple” or “Elm,” I’m not great at telling a Silver Maple from a Sugar Maple.

But, I can tell you that the Elms here in Utah are NOT majestic. Apparently there are different types of Elms, just like there are different types of pines, or Maples. Elms were much more prevalent in the past. Back before Freddy Kruger made us all afraid of Elm Street. But, they got hit with a disease. And many of them died off.

At that point, having killed our own native stuff, we imported stuff from China. I think our Elms might be Chinese Elms. The point is, a Utah Elm tree looks like this.


I took the picture yesterday. Here’s a Maple about a block from my house, also taken yesterday.


And here’s a maple directly across the street. Looking out our kitchen window, this is the color we get to enjoy.


And of course, this is one of my Maple trees.


In a few years I expect it will look like my neighbors’ trees. That would be fine with me. I just don’t want it to look like that scraggly Elm.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife and thirteen children.

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