The patriot elm is able to resist Dutch elm disease, which devastated American elm populations throughout the 1900s. It was developed for this purpose by the United States National Arboretum in 1980.
The arboretum’s very own patriot elm was planted in 2021 and can be found on Larch Lane trail by the corner of May and Lovell Street.
History at Hadwen
In 1900, Hadwen documented that he grew the American, English, and Scotch elm trees on the grounds of the arboretum and that they were “well worthy of planting.” By 1971, winged and witch Elm were also added to the property. The American elms that once were planted by Hadwen have since been lost due to Dutch elm disease, but the patriot elm, developed in 1980, now features in the collection.
Detailed Species Information
Patriot elm is a hybrid of Japanese elm (Ulmus. davidiana var. japonica) with Ulmus ‘urban’ (a hybrid of Ulmus pumila, Ulmus hollandica, and Ulmus minor). It was designed by the United States National Arboretum in 1980 as a species of elm that was resistant to Dutch Elm disease which devastated American Elm populations in the United States and Europe in the 1900s.
The Patriot Elm is a deciduous tree characterized by branches that sweep starkly upward and rapid growth rates. The leaves of the tree are small and serrated on the margins with a dark glossy green color. The Patriot Elm prefers well-drained, moist soils but is otherwise tolerant to stressors like road salt, harsh temperatures, and high alkalinity. Because of these qualities, the patriot elm is well suited for landscaping and street tree plantings.