Elm tree

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Elm tree

***** Location: Europa
***** Season: Non-seasonal topic
***** Category: Plant


Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the genus Ulmus, family Ulmaceae, found throughout the Northern Hemisphere from Siberia to Indonesia, Mexico to Japan. Many species and cultivars have also been introduced as ornamentals to parts of the Southern Hemisphere, notably Australasia.

Elms have alternate, simple, single- or doubly-serrate leaves, usually asymmetric at the base and acuminate at the apex. They are hermaphroditic, having perfect flowers which, being wind-pollinated, are without petals. The fruit is a round wind-dispersed samara.

The other genera of the Ulmaceae are Zelkova (Zelkova) and Planera (Water Elm). Celtis (Hackberry or Nettle Tree), formerly included in the Ulmaceae, is now included in the family Cannabaceae.

Elm wood was valued for its interlocking grain, and consequent resistance to splitting, with significant uses in wheels, chair seats and coffins.

From the 18th century to the early 20th century, elms were among the most widely planted ornamental tree in both Europe and North America. They were particularly popular as a street tree in avenue plantings in towns and cities, creating high-tunnelled effects, and to this day, 'Elm Street' remains the most common road name in the USA.
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Sacred Trees

In England the Elm tree was associated with elves.
It was also belived that the falling of leaves of the Elm out of season predicted disease among cattle.
The Elm was also used to cure cattle by means of the "Need fire".
Elm leaves have also been used for centuries for medicinal purposes.
Herbalists still use Slippery Elm.

In Finno-Ugric mythology the Elm`s were believed to be the mothers of the fire Goddess Ut.
© www.paralumun.com


Elm trees have entered our mythology - a mark of their prominence in the lives of early civilizations.

Germanic tribes included the elm in their creation myth, and Mongols incorporated it in a wedding prayer.

Germanic Creation Myth
The ancient Germanic peoples who came to inhabit much of Europe, believed that three gods, Odin, Vili and Ve, created the world.

According to the myth, these three gods were walking by the sea examining their handiwork when they came upon two fallen trees. One was an ash, the other an elm. Odin imbued them with the spark of life. Vili endowed them with spirit and a thirst for knowledge. Ve gave them the gift of five senses.

When they had finished, the fallen trees resembled the gods themselves. Out of the ash came man. Woman was created from the elm and her name was Embla.
(Source: "Mythologies" compiled by Yves Bonnefoy v. 1, p.281)

Mongol Wedding Prayer

"Mother Ut (Fire), Mistress of Fire, descended from the elms on the tops of the Khangai-Khan and the Burkhatu-Khan mountains. Thou, who wast born when Heaven and Earth parted, who camest forth from the footprints of Mother Ă–tygen (Earth), thou creation of Tengeri-Khan. Mother Ut, thy father is the hard steel, thy mother the flint, thy ancestors, the elm trees.
Thy brightness reaches the heavens and spreads over the earth. Thy brightness reaches the Heaven-dweller, nursed by the Mistress Uluken.

Goddess Ut, we offer thee yellow butter and a yellow-headed white sheep. Thine are this brave boy and the beautiful bride, the slender daughter."
(Source: "Mythology of All Races" vol. iv, Uno Holmberg, p.453)
© www.elmcare.com

Worldwide use



Things found on the way


today's thunderstorm
sheets of rain drum on the roof --
the elms full of birds

~ Denis M. Garrison, US
Previously published in
Haiku Harvest and Eight Shades of Blue, Lulu Press, 2005.


yellow leaves
smothering the flowers -
a dying elm

© MGSwartout


an elm tree shrugs
summer leaves
this autumn night

© mary seabright

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