The Elm Tree

Elm TreeUlmus glabra 


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.


Elm wood

was valued for its interlocking grain, and consequent resistance to splitting. The wood is also resistant to decay when permanently wet, and hollowed trunks were widely used as water pipes during the medieval period in Europe. Elms also have a long history of cultivation for fodder, with the leafy branches cut for livestock. Elm bark, cut into strips and boiled, sustained much of the rural population of Norway during the great famine of 1812.

Allan Quatermain's apostrophe:--

"I do love a good tree," he says. "There it stands so strong and sturdy, and yet so beautiful--a very type of the best sort of man. How proudly it lifts its bare head to the winter storms, and with what a full heart it rejoices when the spring has come again! How grand its voice is, too, when it talks with the wind: a thousand AEolian harps cannot equal the beauty of the sighing of a great tree in leaf. All day it points to the sunshine and all night to the stars, and thus passionless, and yet full of life, it endures through the centuries--come storm, come shine--drawing its sustenance from the cool bosom of its mother earth, and, as the slow years roll by, learning the great mysteries of growth and of decay. And so on and on through generations, outliving individuals, customs, dynasties--all save the landscape it adorns and human nature--till the appointed day when the wind wins the long battle and rejoices over a reclaimed space, or decay puts the last stroke to his fungus-fingered work. Ah! one should always think twice before one cuts down a tree!"


Elm leaves have also been used for centuries for medicinal purposes.

Herbalists still use Slippery Elm.

Flower remedy for releaving "exhastion from over-striving"

 Burr Elm