The Princeton American elm (Ulmus americana ‘Princeton‘ ), is a cultivar of the American Elm (Ulmus americana) that was developed in 1922 by Princeton’s nurseryman William Flemer for its beauty but was later found to have a moderate resistance to Dutch Elm disease that wiped out most American elm trees in America in the 1930’s. Many Princeton elms planted along Washington Road survived and their upright branches form a beautiful cathedral-like canopy. The 3-6 inch shiny dark leaves are placed alternate on the branches and have double serrated edges and an oblong shape. They turn a rich yellow in the fall. This tree was introduced to Europe in 1752. It is the State Tree of Massachusetts and North Dakota. Some other variants resistant to Dutch Elm disease are: ‘New Harmony’and ‘Valley Forge’.
Common name: American Elm, White Elm, Gray elm, Soft Elm.
Scientific Name (family and order): Ulmus americana L. (Ulmaceae, Rosales)
Species Origin: Eastern North America
New Jersey Status: Native
Habit: 60 – 100’ tall with a spread of ½ to 2/3 of its height; bole 2 – 3 ½’ graciously inverted pyramidal shape.
Habitat: Zones 3 – 9.
Trunk/Stem: Bark of mature tree furrowed in narrow untidey interlacing ridges; each ridge scaly, fallen scales reveal white patches. Branchlets never winged as in Slippery and Field Elms.
Leaves: Deciduous, Simple, Alternate. leaves ovate, 3 – 6” long x 1-3” wide, margins coarsely double toothed, with uneven base. Straight parallel veins run straight to leaf margin. Adaxial surface less rough than Slippery Elm but still offers resistance in rubbing from tip to base.
Flowers: Perfect. Flowers drooping on long pedicels, very early spring before leaves.
Fruits and seeds: Samara with deep narrow notch; ½” wide pale yellow green becoming brown; on long pedicel.