Thursday, July 31, 2008


The Princeton American Elm tree is a very fast growing tree. It grows 3 to 6' a year and is very strong. It is not like other fast growing trees that get brittle, it maintains a very strong new growth and is not prone to splitting like some of the Chinese Lacebark elms, Sycamores or Tulip Poplars.

The Princeton American Elm is also extremely urban tolerant. It is the most urban tolerant tree I have ever seen.


  1. I think it's great hat you're working to get elms back in the landscape. However, wouldn't it be better to include in your offerings as many different cultivars as possible? Granted, Valley Forge is not without its challenges and in its formative stages leaves a bit to be desired re: form. As much as I probably prefer Princeton, it does seem dangerous to focus on only one cultivar, thereby narrowing the genetic basis of disease/pest resistance.

    Anyone care to comment?

  2. Terry, I agree, but we set up the web blog to specifically talk about the Princeton American elm. We feel we need to get its story back out in the public eye especially since the Princeton elm is such a diverse tree in its applications. From most of the cities and municipalities who plant the tree in their communities, they are doing a good job getting a mix of trees. The day of planting all of one tree in a community is gone. Feel assured that there are pleanty of other elms being planted out there besides the Princeton. Even in our trees farm here, we grow Valley Forge, Allee, Bosque, Lacebark and Jefferson Elms along with many other shade and ornamental varieties of trees. I would love to here more from others as well, but you are right in line with what you are saying.

    Thanks and take care!

  3. Being a nurseryman for 30+ years and seeing several trees just be a flash in the pan if you will, the Princeton Elm has the most potential to meet the wants of any tree out there hands down. Remember, the Princeton Elm was choosen in the 20's for its landscape greatness. No other American elm cultivar has that going for it. That's one of the main reasons we at Sharp Top Tree and Riveredge Farms are behind this tree. We do grow Vally Forge and Jefferson and I am with you on the fact that we do need to stay away from any monoculture mass plantings, but the Princeton is hands down the best American elm out there bar none. Try it you will most definatly like it.

  4. Jared: I'm sorry it took so long to respond to your response. I'm glad to learn that you do grow other elm varieties. Rest assured, I was not attempting to change the focus of the blog.

    As I mentioned, I really do think that Princeton is the perfect tree, especially for municipalities, especially since they are considerably lower maintenance and achieve the desirable form with minimal pruning. Here in Boston and neighboring Brookline, they are FINALLY starting to plant them here and there. I happened on Beacon Street in Brookline, that town's most prominent thoroughfare last month and noticed that as part of a major streetscape improvement Princetons had been quite extensively planted, together with Accolade elms and a smattering of Patriot elms. Many of the Princetons were still in their bags and staked but not yet fully planted. I will be anxious to see how they fare next year.
    ALL the ded tolerant elms experienced explosive growth this growing season due the the generous rains we received.

    I look forward to elms being well in the mix of a planting initiative according to which by the year 2020, Boston wants to plant an additional 100,000 trees on both private and public property.


  5. I have a princeton elm that I planted last September - it was about 2 1/2 to 3 ft tall. Now, not even a year later it's a good 9 feet tall. I love it!!

  6. I planted a Princton Elm 2 years ago in the Florida panhandle ... about 150 yards from the Gulf of Mexico where there's no salt water intrusion but where the "soil" is predominately sand. It came as a bareroot twig which I planted in real "dirt" and it grew to its present height of about 4' in the first year. It's irrigated with a drip system and mulched with tree bark. Last year, it didn't gain any height at all and didn't appear very vigorous. Any suggestions or prognosis?

  7. Tom, We have noticed that the further south towards the Gulf and especially the very hot conditions slow down the growth of the tree. The Sandy soil does not hold as much nutrients as others and this causes a leaching effect.
    My suggestion is to feed the tree x3 a year and water x3 or x2 a week if you can. Keep the mulch up. I think once your tree gets a little size and root system on it, it will start to take off, it just needs a little help with your hot conditions there.
    I hope this helps and dont give up on it yet. I have seen similar comments from areas like Orlando, Panama City, Jacksonville and also San Antonio Tx. Thanks and keep us updated!