The white elm is a fine forest tree, and the demand for this "wood is every year increasing as the old stock disappears. Plough-handles, cheese-boxes, chairs, and many manufactured articles are made from this "wood.
A field of white elms planted in Nebraska has done remarkably well.
An avenue of these trees is unsurpassed for road shade. The growth is rapid, they have finely shaped heads, and are not easily damaged by insects or winds. Two elms near Omaha, planted in 1859, now measure forty and forty-two inches in circumference four feet from the ground. Some tall-growing tree may be planted with them, and cut away at the end of ten years. Elms should be set out eight feet apart. A small tree, when the size of a small whip, was brought from Belgium thirty years ago, and now presents a rich and magnificent appearance, the trunk measuring two feet eight inches in diameter in one direction, and over three feet in another. Michaux says that the white elm "is the most magnificent vegetable of the temperate zone." It is the popular shade-tree of many portions of the United States. Horace, Ovid, and many other both ancient and modern poets speak of the elm, not only on account of its beauty, but the strange combination of grace, beauty, and majesty. It is the most popular tree for planting in parks, along avenues, and in cities, and, in short, wherever shade or beauty is required. It often reaches the height of from ninety to one hundred feet; it loses a great deal of its grace and beauty if grown in a forest where it is crowded among other trees.
It grows chiefly in a moist soil; it sometimes thrives in a dry, but never in sterile soil. Its wood is chiefly used for the panels of carriages, naves of wheels, boxes, barrels, etc. It is seldom used for lumber when any other timber can be obtained, as it warps badly. It is only as an ornamental tree that I would advise farmers to cultivate it, and as a shade-tree I cannot too strongly recommend it. The corky white elm is sometimes mistaken for the white elm, but can easily be distinguished by the corky ridges on its branches. It is sometimes called river elm: its wood is tougher and of somewhat finer grain than the white elm.