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3 - Penn Treaty elm

Ulmus americana 'Penn Treaty Elm'

Title Image

Accession Number: 2012-4111*A

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More about Penn Treaty elm

Other Plants Like This: Ulmus (elm)

TOUR DETAILS Our Penn Treaty Elm is a descendent of the original American elm under which William Penn, founder of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, signed a treaty of friendship with Lenape Chief Tamanend in 1682. General Paul Oliver, whose family owned the land where the historic tree stood, was instrumental in preserving its heritage. When the 600 year old tree was lost in a storm in 1810, Oliver was careful to propagate shoots of the tree on his property. He gifted one of these descendants as a sapling to the University of Pennsylvania on Arbor Day, 1896. During the planting ceremony on College Green, Chief of the U.S. Forestry Division B. E. Fernow announced that the American people had made two "great mistakes"- one in the mistreatment of the Native Americans, and the other in its degradation of American forests. "Penn, in whose memory we plant this tree today, made neither of these mistakes," he declared, and defined the Penn Treaty Elm's planting as a memorial to "moral rectitude and advanced national economic thought."
ACCESSION DATE November 12, 2012
(When this plant was acquired and registered in the database)
Location Map for 2012-4111*A Penn Treaty elm   MAP HELP  

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Images attributed to specific artists are the property of the photographer.

At over 100 feet tall, the treaty elm towers over College Hall. Photo by Paul Meyer.

The large canopy, sinuous branches, and strong trunk of the treaty elm make it one of Penn's most distinctive specimen trees.

The huge spreading crown of Penn's treaty elm, which stands at over 100 feet tall on College Green. Photo by Paul Meyer.

Penn's treaty elm is stunning in the winter landscape.

A silhouette of the treaty elm with the Fischer Fine Arts Library in the background - Photo by Paul Meyer

Shelley Dillard, plant propagator at Morris Arboretum, holding seedlings of the Penn Treaty elm propagated in the Morris Arboretum greenhouses. Morris Arboretum plays an insturmental role in keeping the genetic heritage of this famous tree alive - literally.

A flat of treaty elm seedlings propagated at Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania.

An image of Benjamin West's painting entitled "Penn's Treaty with the Indians" (1771-72), showing the famous elm under which William Penn signed the famous peace treaty with chief of the Lenape Turtle Clan named Tamanend.

Penn's treaty elm photographed in 1917, courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania Archives.

Another historic photo of Penn's Treaty elm, already showing its distinctive form as a young tree. This photo was published in 1912; courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania Archives.

Leaves, seeds, and flowers of the American elm. A good identifier for elms is that all leaves in this genus have asymmetrical bases.

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