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American Elm

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  This deciduous tree is native to eastern North America as far north as Nova Scotia and as far south as Florida. It can withstand temperatures as low as -44 degrees F. The flowers are small and purple-brown and the fruit is a flat samara, with a circular papery wing surrounding the seed. The American elm is highly susceptible to the fungal disease called Dutch elm disease, which is spread by beetles and causes the demise of the mature tree after it already has produced seeds. The elm is therefore still abundant but very rarely grows to the majestic size that it used to have.  Because it is a rough wood, it doesn’t have many uses, but it can be used for things such as barrel staves, trunk-slats, and hoop poles. It has also been used to make rope swings for children. The Liberty Tree in Boston, Massachusetts, was an elm that was known as the rallying point for the growing resistance to British rule.

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