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White Elm is confined mainly to the western portion of the province where is occurs in scattered patches espically in low-lying areas. It is a medium sized tree here, about 50 to 60 feet high with a diameter of a little over a foot. In the forest, it forms a tall straight trunk which rises to a considerable height before branching. In the open, it often divided near the ground into several limbs which gradually spread out to form a fan-shaped crown. The lower limbs, and small branch-lets are inclined to droop. White Elm does well on rich, moist, well-drained sandy loam or gravelly soils, where the water table is near the surface. It grows singly or in mixtures with other hardwoods and softwoods. The wood is valuable for its strength and toughness. This tree is widely planted for ornamental purposes.
Early records of PEI forest descriptions did not include elm very often, indicating it was a rare or scarce. It is mentioned that elm were found in the areas such as Freetown, Campbelltown and generally in the western parts of the island. It was noted that the presence of elm trees indicated a mucky or swampy soil, usually situated on low-lands of rivers. Elm was an excellent wood for many purposes, however, it was just too rare. Elm’s were described as a beauty of the forest, and was quickly used for ornamental shade-trees around dwellings.