Accolade Elm Thoughts and Picture Link

longtee81May 1, 2012


I was wondering what your thoughts on the Accolade Elm tree are in general and more specifically if this specific 4.5 inch caliper tree (see picture) is a good elm in terms of branch structure and overall health.

I have seen other pictures of these trees and they appear to be denser but I may be misinformed since I haven't seen many in person so I have no basis for comparison.

Thanks for any help! 4.5.JPG

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i dont like transplants of that size.. unless it is professionally transplanted .. installed.. and warranted ...

i would also suggest that you do such in dormancy ... but it looks like you are dealing with a professional tree farm ...

with all the problems inherent in elm.. IN GENERAL ... and with the millions of choices otherwise..

i just dont understand why peeps still go for them ... i suspect its a childhood memory thing ...

i presume that this one is IMPROVED.. or SELECTED ... or whatever.. so as to not be problematic in the future ... but i just dont get it..

and dont get me wrong.. it is probably all irrational on my part ...

and if it makes you happy .. then knock your socks off

is there any particular reason you need such a big one.. immediately ... the bigger the tree.. the higher the stressors ...

good luck


    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 8:12AM
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Thanks for your comments Ken, good info to think about. I am looking at having it professionally installed so that should help but hadn't really thought about the transplanting stress and impact on size so I may want to consider a smaller one.

I realize that there are probably much better trees to pick from (most of which I already have) but I am for some reason fascinated with the history of the beautiful elm tree and am willing to take a chance on an American elm alternative.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 9:27AM
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Like Ken, I prefer smaller and younger transplant stock. but that one is not out of the ordinary for being moved. Elms are vigorous plants and it will probably be fine.

As to "Accolade", I consider it one of the better elms out there now. This is an aesthetic judgement on my part. I like that it has bigger, more 'American elm'-looking foliage. Also consider this: Even a tree as stately as the American elm was (and is) didn't look particularly great in youth. kind of gangely and uncouth, but then they get so nice later.

BTW, apparently 'gangely' is not a word.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 6:26PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I hate to see one of that caliper being used in such a northern climate. Research indicates that it can take a tree one year or more (!) PER INCH OF CALIPER to establish properly into the surrounding soil system.

That means that the plant will be concentrating its energy resources on root development and not much else. You will see very little shoot growth during this time. The tree will not have the reserves to recover from any kind of insect invasion or other external assaults.

A much smaller tree will establish quickly and will soon become the kind of tree you're wanting to have. The big guy will sit in the soil, spinning its wheels, for a few years while yours will be reaching for the sky.

I think that you will be very happy with your "Accolade". Congratulations for selecting a 'real' shade tree, instead of something small in stature.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 11:14PM
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Thanks for the advice on caliper size and its impact on growth rate and health. I will look for a smaller one! Another question I have is how important is it to get a tree that is grown in similar soil to where it will be transplanted?

This tree farm has stated that they "prune" the roots which helps with root establishment after it is transplanted. Is this a common practice?

Thanks for all of the advice and opinions!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 12:14PM
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when the dread ded first wiped barren most of the forested streets of the eastern US, even before the whining and moaning started, hardly had even the saws stopped, and there were breeding and selection programs being started to find resistance to the dread ded (inconceivable).

despite the early returns of these programs having been around for twenty years or more, we are just now starting to see the results. Part of the reason why is that people have knee jerk reactions. Ginkgo? smelly. Oaks? acorns, messy. Elm? even worse. (but then they ask, what about cotton wood and silver maple, I hear they are fast growing trees...another topic.)

Despite the best efforts to find truly resistance among genetically pure U. americana, that remains an elusive bar to attain. Some people try to pump this subject every now and then, but the best forms with the greatest resistance over the long haul, born out by trials across broad regions of the country, continue to be hybrids. If you want to know what a circular family tree looks like, get ahold of some of the parentage charts for newer elm hybrids.

They all have some merit to them. Each variety seems to have proponents for that specific variety. (especially Cathedral...good luck finding it). I'm not too hot on New Harmony 9reminds me too much of U. pumila, but that's a subjective point), but nearly all of the others I have seen I have liked.

These are fast growing trees. Emphasize that point. I've seen 1 1/2" Accolade planted as a bare root still manage over two feet of growth in the first growing season. I've seen b&b up to 3" average over two feet a year in the first three years.

As to the root pruning, it's a practice that should see wider utilization. If they (the tree farm you are looking to buy from) have good root pruning practices, the re-establishment time will be much reduced.

as to size of transplants...I've become convinced that people think that every one should plant what they would, because no one has different criteria to base their decision on. Including, among others, size envy. Which increases exponentially with alcohol consumption. Speaking of which...

but we live in world that has community covenants and escrow withholding clauses which may dictate a certain size. a 2 1/2" tree may seem expensive, but when the escrow withholding is 1500... I've heard of people coming out to do the inspection with machinist's calipers and sanding down the bark before measuring.

various entities may require a certain size tree. State of Mn, street trees are supposed to be, according to statute, 2" caliper. City of Fargo, ND, 1 1/4". As far as homeowners are concerned, these rules are seldom if ever enforced. The only time they seem to come into play is when a city or state contract is involved. Some localities have landscape ordinances where certain types of plants or sizes are granted a variable degree of points, and before a certificate of occupancy is granted, these requirements must be met. Again, enforcement varies, and this is largely a commercial deal (the restaurant or strip mall is much more likely to have to deal with this than the housing development, except for large apartments or places with OCD enforcement personnel).

just saying...different people in different places may have various criteria/priorities...and if that's what you want to do, and you can afford it...spend $120M on a painting or plant a 4" tree. It's no skin of my back.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 2:03PM
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