Kortirion among the TreesKortirion among the Trees is a poem by J.R.R. Tolkien.
- O fading town upon an inland hill
- Old shadows linger in thine ancient gate
- Thy robe is grey thine old heart now is still
- Thy towers silent in the mist await
- Their crumbling end while through the storeyed elms
- The Gliding Water leaves these inland realms
- And slips between long meadows to the Sea
- Still bearing downward over murmurous falls
- One day and then another to the Sea
- And slowly thither many years have gone
- Since first the Elves here built Kortirion
- O climbing town upon thy windy hill
- With winding streets and alleys shady-walled
- Where now untamed the peacocks pace in drill
- Majestic sapphirine and emerald
- Amid the girdle of this sleeping land
- Where silver falls the rain and gleaming stand
- The whispering host of old deep-rooted trees
- That cast long shadows in many a bygone noon
- And murmured many centuries in the breeze
- Thou art the city of the Land of Elms
- Alalminórë in the Fairy Realms
- Sing of thy trees Kortirion again
- The beech on hill the willow in the fen
- The rainy poplars and the frowning yews
- Within thine agéd courts that muse
- In sombre splendour all the day
- Until the twinkle of the early stars
- Comes glinting through their sable bars
- And the white moon climbing up the sky
- Looks down upon the ghosts of trees that die
- Slowly and silently from day to day
- O Lonely Isle here was thy citadel
- Ere bannered summer from his fortress fell
- Then full of music were thine elms
- Green was their armour green their helms
- The Lords and Kings of all thy trees
- Sing then of elms renowned Kortirion
- That under summer crowds their full sail on
- And shrouded stand like masts of verdurous ships
- A fleet of galleons that proudly slips
- Across long sunlit seas.
- Thou art the inmost province of the fading isle
- Where linger yet the Lonely Companies
- Still undespairing here they slowly file
- Along thy paths with solemn harmonies
- The holy people of an elder day
- Immortal Elves that singing fair and fey
- Of vanished things that were and could be yet
- Pass like a wind among the rustling trees
- A wave of bowing grass and we forget
- Their tender voices like wind-shaken bells
- Of flowers their gleaming hair like golden asphodels
- Once Spring was here with joy and all was fair
- Among the trees but Summer drowsing by the stream
- Heard trembling in her heart the secret player
- Pipe out beyond the tangle of her forest dream
- The long-drawn tune that elvish voices made
- Foreseeing Winter through the leafy glade
- The late flowers nodding on the ruined walls
- Then stooping heard afar that haunting flute
- Beyond the sunny aisles and tree-propped halls
- For thin and clear and cold the note
- As strand of silver glass remote
- Then all thy trees Kortirion were bent
- And shook with sudden whispering lament
- For passing were the days and doomed the nights
- When flitting ghost-moths danced as satellites
- Round tapers in the moveless air
- And doomed already were the radiant dawns
- The fingered sunlight drawn across the lawns
- The odour and the slumbrous noise of meads
- Where all the sorrel flowers and pluméd weeds
- Go down before the scyther’s share
- When cool October robed her dewy furze
- In netted sheen of gold-shot gossamers
- Then the wide-umbraged elms began to fail
- Their mourning multitude of leaves grew pale
- Seeing afar the icy spears
- Of Winter marching blue behind the sun
- Of bright All-Hallows. Then their hour was done
- And wanly borne on wings of amber pale
- They beat the wide airs of the fading vale
- And flew like birds across the misty meres
- This is the season dearest to the heart
- And time most fitting to the ancient town
- With waning musics sweet that slow depart
- Winding with echoed sadness faintly down
- The paths of stranded mist. O gentle time
- When the late mornings are begemmed with rime
- And early shadows fold the distant woods!
- The Elves go silent by their shining hair
- They cloak in twilight under secret hoods
- Of grey and filmy purple and long bands
- Of frosted starlight sewn by silver hands
- And oft they dance beneath the roofless sky
- When naked elms entwine in branching lace
- The Seven Stars and through the boughs the eye
- Stares golden-beaming in the round moon’s face
- O holy Elves and fair immortal Folk
- You sing then ancient songs that once awoke
- Under primeval stars before the Dawn
- You whirl then dancing with the eddying wind
- As once you danced upon the shimmering lawn
- In Elvenhome before we were before
- You crossed wide seas unto this mortal shore
- Now are thy trees old grey Kortirion
- Through pallid mists seen rising tall and wan
- Like vessels floating vague and drifting far
- Down opal seas beyond the shadowy bar
- Of cloudy ports forlorn
- Leaving behind for ever havens loud
- Wherein their crews a while held feasting proud
- And lordly ease they now like windy ghosts
- Are wafted by slow airs to windy coasts
- And the glimmering sadly down the tide are borne
- Bare are thy trees become Kortirion
- The rotted rainment from their bones is gone
- The seven candles of the Silver Wain
- Like lighted tapers in a darkened fane
- Now flare above the fallen year
- Through court and street now cold and empty lie
- And Elves dance seldom neath the barren sky
- Yet under the white moon there is a sound
- Of buried music still beneath the ground
- When winter comes I would meet winter here
- I would not seek the desert or red palaces
- Where reigns the sun nor tail to magic isles
- Nor climb the hoary mountains’ stony terraces
- And tolling faintly over windy miles
- To my heart calls no distant bell that rings
- In crowded cities of the Earthly Kings
- For here is heartsease still and deep content
- Though sadness haunt the Land of withered Elms
- And making music still in sweet lament
- The Elves here holy and immortal dwell
- And on the stones and trees there lies a spell.
Species, varieties and hybrids
Cultivation and uses
Pests and diseases
Dutch elm disease
Species and species cultivars
Notable elm trees
- The Metaxades Elm. An ancient Field Elm (Ulmus minor) stood until recently in the village square of Metaxades, Thrace, Greece. Having abandoned their original village in 1286 after cholera outbreaks, the villagers re-founded it in the hills where a young elm grew beside a spring. The elm (reputedly the original) and fountain were until recently the focal-point of the village.
- The Biscarrosse Elm. Reputedly planted in 1350, this Field Elm (Ulmus minor) survived in the centre of Biscarrosse in the Landes region of south-west France until 2010, when it finally succumbed to Dutch elm disease   . Its habit of producing a circle of white epicormic leaves on the bole every spring gave rise to a local legend. The 'white wreath' was said to be related to the public humiliation in 1450 and death beneath the tree of a local girl wrongly accused of adultery. 
- The Elm of Bettange. Reputedly planted in 1593, this Field Elm (Ulmus minor) in the village of Bettange in the Moselle region of France is now a wreck  In so far as measurements can be taken of its ruined bole, its girth has been estimated at over 6 m.
- “L’Olmo di Lando”, known in Italy as “L’Olmo Bello” (:The Beautiful Elm). This shapely, open-grown Field Elm (Ulmus minor) stood at Ostra near Senigallia in the Italian Marches, where its "montagna di verde" (:mountain of greenery) attracted many admirers, who bought its portrait in postcards.  It had a 110 m crown-circumference, a 35 m crown-diameter, and a 6,30 m bole-girth at ground level. It was felled in 1935 when it lost its looks and threatened to damage those of the people standing beneath it. A ring-count established that it was over 400 years old.
- The Mergozzo Elm. A four hundred year-old Ulmus minor, 5.55 metres in girth, survives in the town of Mergozzo in Piedmont. 'L'olmo di Mergozzo', like its French counterparts 'l'orme de Biscarosse' and 'l’orme de Bettange', is hollowed out by age, its life prolonged by pollarding.
- The Preston Twins in Preston Park, Brighton, England, are the two oldest English elms (Ulmus procera) in the world. Both trees are over 400 years old and exceed 6 metres in girth. They have been regularly pollarded for many years and both trunks are hollow. The smaller, nearer the A23 London Road, can be entered from the east side; two people can stand comfortably inside it. The trees may be associated with the Medieval Manorial Scrolls kept in the County Records Office in Lewes.
- The Great Saling Elm. With a girth of 22 feet 6 inches and a height of 40 metres, the elm on Great Saling Green, Great Saling, near Braintree, Essex, identified by R. H. Richens (1983) as an Ulmus x hollandica hybrid, was reputed to be the largest elm in England, before succumbing to Dutch Elm Disease in the 1980s. A photograph of the tree can be found (plate 402) in Elwes & Henry's Trees of Great Britain & Ireland, published in 1913, wherein it is identified as U. nitens (U. minorsubsp. minor).
- The Oudemanhuispoort Elm. 34.6 m tall and 4.4 m in girth, this Ulmus × hollandica 'Belgica' in Oudemanhuispoort, Amsterdam, planted in 1895, is the largest elm in the Netherlands.
- "Joe Pullen's Tree", a wych elm (Ulmus glabra) in Oxford, was planted in about 1700 by the Rev. Josiah Pullen, vice president of Magdalen Hall. Josiah Pullen "used to Walk to that place every day, sometimes twice a day", according to diarist Thomas Hearne. The famous essayist Richard Steele (1672–1729) said his regular walks as an undergraduate to the elm with Pullen helped him to reach a "florid old age". The elm became famous at Oxford and its fame grew with its age. In November 1795, Gentleman's Magazine reported that "Joe Pullen, the famous elm, upon Headington hills, had one of its large branches torn off and carried to a great distance." When new parliamentary district boundaries were drawn after the Reform Act 1832, the tree was named as a landmark helping to mark the boundary of the Parliamentary Borough of Oxford. In early 1847, the owner of the property arranged to have the tree torn down, and work started on it before protests put an end to the plan. By 1892, however, rot had set in, and the tree was torn down to its (large and tall) "stump". Early in the morning of October 13, 1909, vandals set fire to the stump. A plaque was soon after installed on the side wall of Davenport House in Cuckoo Lane, marking the spot. It reads: Near this spot stood the famous elm planted by the Rev. Josiah Pullen about 1680 and known as Jo Pullen's Tree. Destroyed by fire on 13 October 1909.
- The Langton Elm in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, was a large tree that "was for a long time so remarkable as to have a special keeper", according to a book published in 1881.
- The Sauble Elm. With a girth of 24 feet 9 inches and a height of over 40 meters, the Sauble Elm, a white elm (Ulmus americana) which once grew beside the banks of the Sauble River between the towns of Hepworth and Sauble Beach in the county of Bruce in the province of Ontario, was one of the largest "wild" elms in North America. The tree succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease and was felled in 1968. A ring count established that it had begun life in the year 1701. 
- The Philipsburg Elm, Philipsburg, Quebec, was a 280 year-old 30 meter Ulmus americana, dubbed "the king of elms". It was cut down in March 2009 after death from Dutch Elm Disease. 
- "Herbie" in Yarmouth, Maine, stood by present-day East Main Street (Route 88) from 1793-2010. At 110 feet (34 m) in height, it was believed to be, between 1997 and the date of its felling, the oldest and tallest Ulmus americana in New England. The tree, which partially stood in the front yard of a private residence, also had a 20-foot (6.1 m) circumference and (until mid-2008) a 93-foot (28 m) crown spread. As of 2003, only twenty of Yarmouth's original 739 elms had survived Dutch elm disease. In August 2009 it was revealed that, after battling fifteen bouts of Dutch elm disease, the tree had lost, and on January 19, 2010 it was cut down.
- The Great Elm on Boston Common, supposed to have been in existence before the settlement of Boston, at the time of its destruction by the storm of the 15th of February 1876 measured 22 ft (6.7 m). in circumference. 
- The Treaty Elm, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In what is now Penn Treaty Park, the founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn, is said to have entered into a treaty of peace with native Indians under a picturesque elm tree immortalized in a painting by Benjamin West. West made the tree, already a local landmark, famous by incorporating it into his painting after hearing legends (of unknown veracity) about the tree being the location of the treaty. No documentary evidence exists of any treaty Penn signed beneath a particular tree. On March 6, 1810 a great storm blew the tree down. Measurements taken at the time showed it to have a circumference of 24 feet (7.3 m), and its age was estimated to be 280 years. Wood from the tree was made into furniture, canes, walking sticks and various trinkets that Philadelphians kept as relics.
- The Liberty Tree on Boston Common was a rallying point for the growing resistance to the rule of England over the American colonies.
- The Washington Elm, Cambridge, Massachusetts. George Washington is said to have taken command of the American Continental Army under the Washington Elm in Cambridge on July 3, 1775. The tree survived until the 1920s and "was thought to be a survivor of the primeval forest". In 1872, a large branch fell from it and was used to construct a pulpit for a nearby church. The tree, an American White Elm, became a celebrated attraction, with its own plaque, a fence constructed around it and a road moved in order to help preserve it. The tree was cut down (or fell — sources differ) in October 1920 after an expert determined it was dead. The city of Cambridge had plans for it to be "carefully cut up and a piece sent to each state of the country and to the District of Columbia and Alaska," according to The Harvard Crimson. As late as the early 1930s, garden shops advertised that they had cuttings of the tree for sale, although the accuracy of the claims has been doubted. A Harvard "professor of plant anatomy" examined the tree rings days after the tree was felled and pronounced it between 204 and 210 years old, making it at most 62 years old when Washington took command of the troops at Cambridge. The tree would have been a little more than two feet in diameter (at 30 inches above ground) in 1773. In 1896, an alumnus of the University of Washington, obtained a rooted cutting of the Cambridge tree and sent it to Professor Edmund Meany at the university. The cutting was planted, cuttings were then taken from it, including one planted on February 18, 1932, the 200th anniversary of the birth of George Washington, for whom Washington state is named. That tree remains on the campus of the Washington State Capitol. Just to the west of the tree is a small elm from a cutting made in 1979.
- George Washington's Elm, Washington, D.C. George Washington supposedly had a favorite spot under an elm tree near the United States Capitol Building from which he would watch construction of the building. The elm stood near the Senate wing of the Capitol building until 1948.
- "Elmo", Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, was a large elm that "once defined the Thayer Street entrance to Brown’s new Watson Institute for International Studies" on the campus of the Providence, Rhode Island school, contracted Dutch Elm disease and was torn down in December 2003, according to a campus news release. The tree "was thought to have been between 80 and 100 years old. Wood from the tree, one of the largest on campus, was used in various student art projects. 
- The Tabletop Elm in Provo, Utah. Next to the USU Utah County Extension Office resides possibly a one-of-a-kind elm tree. Officially it is a specimen of Ulmus americana, but is unusual because it grows sideways, making it a "tabletop" elm tree. The tree was planted in 1927, and currently its several branches are supported by specialized braces to allow movement and growth. Every fall seven dump truck loads are required to remove all the leaves. 
- The Association Island Elm, New York State. The General Electric think tank organization, the Elfun Society, founded in 1928 at Association Island in the Thousand Islands area of northern New York state, is named after a famous elm tree on the 65-acre (260,000 m2) isle. The tree died in the 1970s, but it survives in the elm tree logo still used by Elfun.
- "The MooCoo Tree," University of Georgia, which stands in front of Theta Chi Fraternity, is one of the only Dutch Elm trees east of the Mississippi. Students are known to engage in the "MooCoo Challenge," which consists climbing into the Elm and consuming twelve beers before coming down.
- New Haven, Connecticut had the first public tree planting program in America, producing a canopy of mature trees (including some large elms) that gave New Haven the nickname "The Elm City". This later gave rise to the Yale song, Neath the Elms.