Page images

own. It was raised in 1817, by Mr. Masters.

The stems are

erect; and it does not appear likely to exceed 30 ft. in height. It produces an abundance of twigs, and these are in great part pendulous, whence its name. There is a fine tree of this variety in the Horticultural Society's Garden, which, in 1834, when we had a drawing taken of it, was 30 ft. high.

U. c. 13 parvifolia; U. parvifòlia Jac. Pl. Rar. Hort. Schoenbr., iii. p. 261. t. 262., Poir. Encycl. Suppl., iv. p. 189., Ram. et Schult. Syst. Veg., vi. p. 302., Willd. Enum. Hort. Berol., i. p 295., Willd. Baumz., i. p. 521.; U. microphylla Pers.; U. pùmila var. 8 (transbaïcalénsis) Pall. Ross., i. p. 76. t. 48.; U. pùmila Willd. Sp. Pl., i. p. 1326., Ait. Hort. Kew., Gmel. Sib., iii. p. 105. No. 82., Poiret Encyc. Méth., iv. p. 612. Rom. et Schult. Syst. Veg., vi. p. 202.; U. p. foliis párvis, &c., Pluk Alm., p. 293.; U. hùmilis Enum. Stirp. Ruth., p. 180. No. 260.; and our fig. 1230. A tree, according to Pallas, who mentions several varieties of it, very common in all the woods of the south of Russia, and varying in height from that of a middle-sized tree to that of a diminutive shrub, according to the soil and climate in which it grows. It is very plentiful about Caucasus; through Siberia, it gradually becomes more scarce; but it occurs again about the Lake Baikal, where the inhabitants use the leaves as a substitute for tea. It has been treated by most botanists as a species; but it is not nearly so distinct from U. campéstris as U. c. viminalis, which we know to have been raised, by Mr. Masters, from seeds of the common English elm. The wood of this variety, according to Pallas, when it assumes a tree-like form, is very hard and tough; and it is veined with transverse lines. The root is also beautifully variegated, and used by the turner and cabinet-maker. One of the subvarieties mentioned by Pallas has the bark somewhat fungous or corky; another has the branches slender, wand-like, and of a whitish grey. In mountain rocks, the branches are short and thick; but, in sandy soils, the trees are small, and the shoots slender. I U. c. 14 planifolia, U. planifolia Hort., and the plate of this tree in our last Volume, is a handsome small tree, closely resembling the preceding variety.



U. c. 15 chinensis; U. chinensis Pers., i. p. 291. No. 9., Ram. et Schull. Syst. Veg., vi. p. 303.; Thé de l'Abbé Gallois, Orme nain, Fr.; and our fig. 1231.; is a low bush, introduced from China, but when is uncertain. Notwithstanding the circumstance of its being kept in green-houses in some cases, and retaining its leaves there through the winter, we cannot consider it as anything else than a variety of U. campestris. We are confirmed in this opinion by Mr. Main, who brought home some plants of this sort from China, and found them stand the rigour of our winters in the garden of his friend, the Rev. Mr. Norris of Grove Street, Hackney. (See Gard. Mag., vol. ii. p. 139.) We believe it to be the same sort which is sometimes imported from China, in the form of a miniature old tree, planted in a China vase. While retained in these vases, and sparingly supplied with nourishment, it maintains its stunted figure; but, planted out in the free soil, in a favourable situation, in a year or two


it will make shoots 5 ft. or 6 ft. long, as may be seen in the garden of
the London Horticultural Society. The manner in which the Chinese
procure these miniature trees is, by ringing the extremities of the
branches of old trees, and then applying a ball of loam, kept moist
by water and moss, till roots are thrown out from the callosity
formed at the ring; when the small branch is cut off, and planted
in a porcelain pot, either, says Mr. Main, "round, or, most commonly,
an elongated square, 12 in. or 14 in. long, 8 in. wide, and about 5 in.
in depth. Along with the tree they place pieces of stone, to re-
present rocks, among which moss and lichens are introduced. The
tree, thus planted, is not allowed to rise higher than about 1 ft. or
15 in.; no greater supply of water is given than is just sufficient to
keep it alive; and, as the pot soon acts as a prison, its growth is
necessarily impeded: at the same time, every means are used to check
its enlargement. The points of the shoots, and the half of every
new leaf, are constantly and carefully cut off; the stem and branches,
which are allowed to extend only a certain length, are bound and
fantastically distorted, by means of wire; the bark is lacerated to
produce protuberances, asperities, and cracks; one branch is partly
broken through, and allowed to hang down, as if by accident; another
is mutilated to represent a dead stump: in short, every exertion of
the plant is checked by some studied violence or other. This treat-
ment produces, in course of time, a perfect forest tree in miniature.
Stunted and deformed by the above means, it certainly becomes a
curious object, bearing all the marks of extreme old age. Its
writhed and knotty stem, weather-stained and scabrous bark; its
distorted and partly dead branches; its diminutive shoots and
leaves; all give it the aspect of antiquity. Various kinds of trees
are chosen for this purpose; but the two most commonly met with
are the Ulmus (campestris) parvifòlia sinensis, and a species of Ficus,
very much like F. indica." (Gard. Mag., vol. ii. p. 139.) Grafted
standard high on the common English elm, the Chinese elm would
form a very
ry handsome small tree. The French name, Thé de l'Abbé
Gallois, arises from that gentleman, in the reign of Louis XV., having
imported this plant from China, supposing it to be the real tea tree.
For a very full account of the Chinese mode of dwarfing trees.
see Hort Trans., iv. p. 231.

U. c. 16 cucullata Hort. has the leaves curiously curved, something like
a hood. There is a tree in the Horticultural Society's Garden.
U. c. 17 concavæfòlia Hort. resembles the preceding kind. There is a
tree in the Horticultural Society's Garden.

U. c. 18 foliis aureis Hort. has the leaves variegated with yellow. Other Varieties. In Messrs. Loddiges's Catalogue, ed. 1836, U. c. nàna, U. c. fòlus maculatis,U. dùbia,U. viscosa, and some others, which are indicated as belonging to this species, are mentioned; but, with the exception of U. viscosa, of which there is a tree in the Horticultural Society's Garden, which, in 1834, after being 10 years planted, was 20 ft. high, we can say very little of them, on account of the small size of the plants.

French Varieties. The following sorts are enumerated in the Nouveau Cours d'Agriculture, and in the Dictionnaire des Eaux et Forêts; and, though we have not been able to identify all of them with the English kinds, and think it very probable that some of them do not belong to U. campéstris, yet we have thought it right to place the names before our readers; in order that collectors of these interesting trees may endeavour to procure them, with a view to adding to the varieties now in cultivation.

L'Orme à Feuilles larges et rudes, the rough broad-leaved Elm.

L'Orme Tell, l'Orme, Tilleul, l'Orme de Hollande; the British, or Lime Tree, Elm.-The leaves are not so rough as those of some of the other varieties.

L'Ormille, l'Orme nain, the dwarf Elm, with small, narrow, rough leaves.

L'Orme à Feuilles lisses et glabres, the shining smooth-leaved Elm, has the leaves of a blackish green, leathery, and unequally divided by the midrib.

Le petit Orme à Feuilles panachées de blanc.

L'Orme à Feuilles lisses panachées de blanc, the shining silvery-leaved Elm.
Le petit Orme à Feuilles panachécs de jaune, the dwarf golden-leaved Elm.

L'Orme à petites Feuilles, l'Orme måle, l'Orme pyramidal, the small-leaved Elm, which always grows erect, with the branches close to the trunk.

L'Orme à très-grandes Feuilles, l'Orme femelle, l'Orme de Trianon, the large-leaved Elm, the branches of which spread horizontally. This elm, says Du Hamel, branches much, and furnishes kneed timber, which is very useful to the wheelwright. Its wood, however, is not so strong as that of the twisted elm.

L'Orme de Hollande à grandes Feuilles panachées, the variegated Dutch Elm, has broad variegated leaves.

L'Orme tortillard,? U. tortuosa Lodd. Cat. (see p. 1376.), the twisted Elm.-This is a very distinct variety; and it is one which very frequently comes true from seed. Its leaves are of a very deep green, and about the middle size; its trunk is marked with alternate knots and hollows; and the fibres of its wood are all twisted and interlaced together. This kind of elm presents a very singular appearance when it becomes old, as a number of knots, or bosses, appear to surround its trunk. It produces but few seeds, and some years none at all. Its seeds are, also, much smaller than those of the common elm. It is the best of all the varieties for the use of wheelwrights; and particularly for the spokes of wheels. This elm is very much cultivated in France, at Varennes, in the nurseries near Meaux, and at Amiens. On the road from Meaux to Paris, there is a great number of these trees. Michaux mentions the twisted elm in his North American Sylva, 3. p. 96., and strongly recommends it to both English and American planters. Description, &c. The common English elm is, perhaps, more frequently to be found in the parks and pleasure-grounds of the English nobility and gentry, than any other tree, except the oak. It is of a tall upright habit of growth, with a straight trunk, 4 ft. or 5 ft. in diameter when fully grown, and attaining the height of 60 ft. or 70 ft. or upwards. It has rather slender branches, which are densely clothed with small deep green leaves, somewhat shining on the upper surface, though rough to the touch. These leaves are broad in the middle, and contracted towards each end; being, like those of all the other species of elms, unequal at the base, and doubly dentated; and having a strongly marked midrib, with other equally prominent lateral ribs proceeding from it on each side. The colour of the flowers, which appear before the leaves, varies from a dark red to a dull purple. According to Evelyn, the common elm will produce a load of timber in about 40 years: it does not, however, cease growing, if planted in a favourable situation, neither too dry nor too moist, till it is 100 or 150 years old; and it will live several centuries. Young trees, in the climate of London, will attain the height of 25 ft. or 30 ft. in ten years, of which there are living proofs in the London Horticultural Society's Garden. According to Dr. Walker (Nat. Hist., p. 72.), the English elm, when planted beside the Scotch elm, grows much faster, and produces a greater quantity of timber in the same space of time; though that timber is inferior in colour, hardness, and durability.

Geography. The small-leaved elm is a native of the middle and south of Europe, the west of Asia, and Barbary. In France and Spain, it is found in great abundance; and many botanists consider it a native of England. If not truly indigenous, it appears to have been introduced at a very early period, probably by the Romans, and to have been propagated by art; for, as Pliny observes, it seldom bears seeds to any considerable extent. According to Sir J. E. Smith, it is found wild in woods and hedges in the southern parts of England, particularly in the New Forest, Hampshire, and in Sussex and Norfolk. (See Eng. Fl., ii. p. 20.)

History. The common field elm was known to the ancient Greeks, as it appears evident from Pliny mentioning that the Greeks had two distinct kinds, one inhabiting the mountains, and the other the plains. The Romans, Pliny adds, had four kinds; the mountain, or tall, elm (Ulmus Atínia, our U. campestris); the Gaulic elm; the elm of Italy, which had its leaves in tufts; and the wild elm. The elm was scarcely known, as an ornamental tree, in France, till the time of Francis I.; and it appears to have been first planted there to adorn public walks, about 1540. (See Dict. des Eaux et Forêts, ii. p. 453.) It was afterwards planted largely, particularly in churchyards, by Sully, in the reign of Henry IV.; and, by desire of that king, who, according to Evelyn, expressed a wish to have all the highways in France planted with it, it soon became the tree most generally used for promenades and hedgerows. Many old trees existed at the period of the first French revolution, which were called Sully or Rosni, and Henri Quatre; names that had been given to them apparently to commemorate their illustrious planters. Bosc states that he

himself had seen some of these elms in Burgundy, with trunks from 4 ft. to 5 ft. in diameter, which, though hollow, yet supported heads capable of sheltering some thousands of men. In England, the elm has been planted from time immemorial; and, probably, from the era of the possession of the island by the Romans; though Dr. Walker supposes it to have been brought over at the time of the Crusades. The oldest trees on record are, perhaps, those of Mongewell, in Oxfordshire, which were celebrated in the time of Leland, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. There may, however, be much older trees; for the elm, being a tree of less national importance than the oak, has never possessed the same attractions for antiquaries. In Scotland, the English elm was hardly known before the union of the two kingdoms. Dr. Walker mentions it, in 1780, as being found nowhere in that country of a large size; but, as already mentioned, promising to afford a much greater quantity of wood than the Scotch elm in the same space of time. He particularises a tree planted in 1771, which, in 1799, was 35 ft. high. In Ireland, the narrow-leaved elm is said, in Mackay's Flora Hibernica to be abundant, but scarcely indigenous; and no instances are given of large trees. In the middle and southern states of Germany, it attains a considerable size, as will be seen by our statistics of this tree in foreign countries.

Properties and Uses. The wood of the elm loses a great deal in drying : weighing, when green, nearly 70 lb. the cubic foot; and, when dry, not more than 48 lb. The wood is of a brownish colour, and is hard and fine-grained. It possesses greater lateral adhesion, and less longitudinal toughness, than that of U. montana, and, consequently, does not crack so much as that sort in drying. In ship-building it is valuable for forming the blocks and dead eyes, and other wooden furniture of rigging, being particularly suitable for these purposes, from its hard and adhesive nature, and indisposition to crack or split when exposed to sun or weather. (See Matthews on Naval Timber, &c., p. 57.) The great use of the English elm, however, in ship-building, is for keels. The Norfolk elm is said by Sir J. E. Smith to make the best timber, and to sell for double the price of any other. It is rather remarkable, that Marshall seems of a diametrically opposite opinion; since he says that there is not a single good elm in that county. Sir J. E. Smith adds that, in Norfolk, the elm is generally used for the naves of wheels; and in many parts of England, and particularly about London, it is also employed for coffins. (See Eng. Fl., ii. p. 20.) The knobs which grow upon old trees are divided into thin plates by cabinet-makers, particularly in France and Germany; and, when polished, they exhibit very curious and beautiful arrangements of the fibre, which render this wood extremely ornamental for furniture. A mode is mentioned in the Museum Rusticum (vols. i. and ii.) of preparing the wood of the trunk of the elm for cabinet-makers, and giving it the colour of mahogany. This consists in sawing the wood into thin planks, and then boiling it for an hour or more, till all the sap is extracted. The planks are afterwards wiped dry with coarse cloths, and laid in piles, alternately with layers of deal laths, placed across the boards at regular distances; about ten or twelve boards are thus placed one above the other, and a heavy weight put on the last. In this way, the boards dry without warping, and are afterwards washed with aqua fortis, when they are ready for the dye. This consists of two drachms of powdered dragon's blood, one drachm of powdered alkanet root, and half a drachm of aloes. These ingredients are steeped in half a pint of spirits of wine, and the tincture is applied with a sponge, being repeated two or three times, according to the depth of colour required. Elm timber is remarkably durable in water; and it is particularly adapted for piles, pumps, water-pipes, or any other similar purposes. It is generally employed for making the keels of large ships; and, for this purpose, it often sells for a higher price than is obtained for any other kind of timber in the place where it grows. It has been used from time immemorial for water-pipes, or troughs, for conveying the water of the salt springs to the large boxes, or pans, where the watery particles are evaporated by the heat of the sun or by fire, and the salt deposited; and, as it

is well known that our Saxon ancestors called all the places where there were salt springs wich or wych (such as Droitwich, Nantwich, &c.), hence, probably, originated the name of wych elm, which was originally applied to all the British kinds, as well as to U. montàna. (See Hunter's Evelyn, i. p.114.) As fuel, the wood of the elm is to that of the beech as 1259 to 1540; and, as charcoal, as 1407 is to 1600. (Hartig.) The ashes of the elm are rich in alkaline salts; and among the ashes of 73 sorts of trees, the properties of which have been tried, it occupies the tenth place. (Werneck). The leaves and young shoots were used by the Romans to feed cattle, and they are still so employed in many parts of France. They have in some places been given to silkworms; and, in both France and Norway, they are boiled to serve as food for pigs. In Russia, the leaves of U. c. parvifolia are used for tea. The bark, is used, in some places, as an astringent medicine; and the inner bark, like that of the lime, for making bast mats and ropes. It is said that both the leaves and bark contain a considerable proportion of glue. Young deer are very fond of this bark; and in Norway they kiln-dry it, and grind it with corn to make flour for bread. The elm was planted by the Romans for the purpose of supporting the vine; and it is still so employed, along with the Lombardy poplar, in the south of Italy. Columella informs us that vineyards, with elm trees as props, were named arbusta, the vines themselves being called arbustivæ vites, to distinguish them from others raised in more confined situations. Once in two years, the elms were carefully pruned, to prevent their leaves from overshadowing the grapes; and this operation being deemed of great importance, Corydon is reproached by Virgil, for the double neglect of suffering both his elms and vines to remain unpruned.

[ocr errors][merged small]

As a picturesque tree," the elm," Gilpin observes, "has not so distinct a character as either the oak or the ash. It partakes so much of the oak, that, when it is rough and old, it may easily, at a little distance, be mistaken for one; though the oak (I mean such an oak as is strongly marked with its peculiar character) can never be mistaken for the elm. This is certainly a defect in the elm; for strong characters are a great source of picturesque beauty. This defect, however, appears chiefly in the skeleton of the elm : in full foliage, its character is more marked. No tree is better adapted to receive grand masses of light. In this respect it is superior both to the oak and the ash. Nor is its foliage, shadowing as it is, of the heavy kind. Its leaves are small; and this gives it a natural lightness: it commonly hangs loosely, and is, in general, very picturesque. The elm naturally grows upright, and, when it meets with a soil it loves, rises higher than the generality of trees; and, after it has assumed the dignity and hoary roughness of age, few of its forest brethren (though, properly speaking, it is not a forester) excel it in grandeur and beauty. The elm is the first tree that salutes the early spring with its light and cheerful green; a tint which contrasts agreeably with the oak, whose early leaf has generally more of the olive cast. We see them sometimes in fine harmony together, about the end of April and the beginning of May. We often, also, see the elm planted with the Scotch pine. In the spring, its light green is very discordant with the gloomy hue of its companion; but, as the year advances, the elm leaf takes a darker tint, and unites in harmony with the pine. In autumn, also, the yellow leaf of the elm mixes as kindly with the orange of the beech, the ochre of the oak, and many of the other fading hues of the wood." (Gilpin's Forest Scenery, vol. i. p. 43.) "The elm throws out a beautiful bloom, in the form of a spicated ball, about the bigness of a nutmeg, of a dark crimson colour. This bloom sometimes appears in such profusion as to thicken and enrich the spray exceedingly, even to the fulness almost of foliage." (Ibid., p. 114.) "The branch of the elm has neither the strength nor the various abrupt twistings of the oak; nor does it shoot so much in horizontal directions. Such, also, is the spray. (fig. 1232.) It has a

« PreviousContinue »