Camperdown Elm Ulmus glabra 'Camperdownii'
The plant known as the Camperdown Elm is characterized by its unique and striking appearance, with a canopy that creates a distinctive umbrella or dome shape. The leaves of this deciduous tree are large, with a luscious dark green color, and have a slightly rough texture. They are arranged in an alternating pattern on the branches, and in the fall, they turn a bright yellow, adding a pop of color to the landscape before they drop. The bark of the tree is rough with deep furrows, possessing a dark brown hue that sometimes appears craggy, providing a rich texture and an aged look to the trunk and branches. One of the most notable features of the Camperdown Elm is its weeping habit, as the branches curve downward, creating a weeping willow-like effect, which adds to the dramatic drooping aesthetic of its overall shape. During the spring, this elm produces clusters of inconspicuous small reddish flowers, which may be followed by small winged fruits, but these are often not very noticeable when compared to the striking form of the tree. The densely packed limbs of the Camperdown Elm grow in a contorted fashion, twisting and turning in a visually interesting manner that provides year-round interest. This tree's unique growth habit and structure make it a focal point in any setting where it is planted, often drawing the eye and captivating the imagination with its enchanting form.
About this plant
Camperdown Elm, Weeping Elm, Umbrella Elm
Ulmus glabra 'Camperdownii'.
The Camperdown Elm is not known to be toxic to humans. Ingesting parts of this plant is not typically associated with poisoning or adverse health effects.
The Camperdown Elm is not known to be toxic to pets. It is not associated with poisoning in animals, and ingestion of this plant should not cause any symptoms or toxic consequences.
Color of leaves
15 feet (4.57 meters)
15 feet (4.57 meters)
- General Benefits
- Shade provider: The Camperdown Elm's dense foliage offers ample shade, making it suitable for parks and gardens.
- Aesthetic appeal: With its unique weeping form and attractive leaves, this tree adds visual interest to landscapes.
- Habitat for wildlife: Birds and other small animals can find food and shelter within the tree's branches.
- Urban tolerance: This species can withstand urban conditions like pollution and compacted soil, making it suitable for city planting.
- Low maintenance: The Camperdown Elm requires relatively little care once established, making it a convenient choice for gardeners.
- Windbreak: Its dense growth habit can serve as a windbreak, sheltering nearby areas from strong winds.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- The Camperdown Elm can be utilized in woodworking and carpentry for its attractive wood grain and strength.
- Its unique weeping form makes it a popular choice for bonsai, allowing enthusiasts to create miniature landscapes.
- This tree is often planted in arboretums and botanical gardens for educational purposes, serving as an example of grafting techniques.
- Bird enthusiasts may plant Camperdown Elms to attract bird species that enjoy the dense foliage for nesting and cover.
- Some artists use the elm’s contorted branches as inspiration or actual frameworks for sculptures and art installations.
- Their broad, drooping canopy provides a natural shaded play area for children, becoming a living part of play structures.
- The thick canopy can be manipulated to grow over pathways, creating living tunnels in landscape design.
- Camperdown Elm leaves can be used as a natural dye for fabrics, producing various shades of green and yellow.
- Dried branches can be fashioned into rustic furniture or decorative items for their unique twisted appearance.
- Photographers and filmmakers might seek out Camperdown Elms for their dramatic structure and use them as striking backdrops.
- Feng Shui
The Camperdown Elm is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Camperdown Elm is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Strength: The Camperdown elm is a hardy tree known for its strength and resilience, often symbolizing the ability to withstand challenges.
- Interconnectedness: With its interweaving branches, the Camperdown elm can represent the interconnectedness of all beings and the importance of community and family.
- Protection: The dense foliage of the Camperdown elm provides shelter and protection, symbolic of a safe haven or sanctuary.
- Endurance: The longevity of elms, in general, signifies endurance and the ability to endure over time, making it a symbol of perseverance.
- Elegance: The unique weeping form and aesthetic appeal of the Camperdown elm can symbolize grace and natural elegance.
The Camperdown Elm should be watered deeply and thoroughly once a week during dry periods, allowing the water to penetrate the soil to a depth of several inches. Younger trees benefit from about 15-20 gallons of water, whereas mature trees might require around 50 gallons to ensure appropriate hydration of the root zone. It's important to avoid overwatering and to adjust the frequency based on rainfall; during times of heavy rain, supplementary watering may not be necessary. Soil should be allowed to dry out slightly between waterings to avoid waterlogging and potential root rot.
The Camperdown Elm thrives best in full sun to partial shade; an ideal spot would be one where it receives at least four hours of direct sunlight each day but is also shielded from the harsh afternoon sun. This elm can also tolerate light shade, but its growth may be less vigorous and its canopy not as dense.
The Camperdown Elm is hardy and can handle a wide temperature range, with its preferred temperatures being between 50°F and 70°F. It is able to withstand a maximum temperature as high as around 90°F and can survive cold winters down to at least -20°F to -30°F. Sudden extreme temperature changes should be avoided to maintain the tree's health.
Prune the Camperdown Elm to remove any dead or broken branches, maintain its shape, and improve air circulation within the canopy. Pruning should be carried out in late winter or early spring before the sap begins to flow. It is advisable to prune this tree every 1-3 years, depending on its growth and structural needs. Always use clean, sharp tools to make cuts just outside the branch collar without leaving a stub.
Camperdown Elm thrives in well-drained, fertile soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH of 6.0 to 7.0. The best soil mix would contain loamy soil, compost, and sand to ensure adequate drainage and fertility. Mulching is recommended to retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.
The Camperdown Elm, being a large tree, is not typically repotted. Instead, it is planted outdoors where it has space to grow. Transplanting should only be done when necessary, and the tree prefers to remain in one location once established.
- Humidity & Misting
The Camperdown Elm is adaptable to a wide range of humidity levels outdoor and does not require specific humidity conditions. However, it benefits from the ambient humidity present in most outdoor environments.
- Suitable locations
Growing Camperdown Elm indoors is impractical due to its size.
Plant Camperdown Elm in full sun/partial shade and ensure ample growing space.
- Life cycle
The Camperdown Elm, Ulmus glabra 'Camperdownii', begins its life cycle with seed germination, occurring when conditions of moisture and temperature are favorable. Seedlings emerge and grow, establishing a strong root system and beginning vegetative growth with characteristic broad, ovate, and toothed leaves. With proper care, the tree reaches maturity in several years, developing into its notable weeping form due to the genetic mutation of the parent Ulmus glabra, creating a distinctive canopy. Throughout its adult life, the Camperdown Elm undergoes cycles of leaf production in spring, flowering in early spring before the leaves appear, followed by seed set and dispersal, if pollinators such as wind or insects facilitate the process. In the autumn, leaves turn yellow before dropping, signaling the tree's preparation for the dormant winter phase. This cycle of growth and dormancy repeats annually, with the tree potentially living for several decades if not affected by diseases like Dutch Elm Disease or environmental stressors.
The Camperdown Elm, known scientifically as Ulmus glabra 'Camperdownii', can be most effectively propagated by the method of grafting, which is typically done during late winter before the sap begins to flow. Grafting involves taking a scion, which is a cutting from a mature Camperdown Elm, and attaching it to the rootstock of a compatible Elm species. The scion should ideally be about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) long and have several buds. It is carefully joined to a similarly sized cut on the rootstock, making sure the cambium layers (the growth tissue layer) of both the scion and the rootstock are in contact. The graft is then wrapped and sealed to prevent drying and infection while the union heals and the scion starts to grow, inheriting the distinctive weeping habit of the parent tree.