American Elm -- NAU Campus, Flagstaff AZ
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 35° 11.568 W 111° 39.353
12S E 440289 N 3894621
Quick Description: This American Elm tree is doubly historic -- it descends from the George Washington Elm and it is an AZ Centennial Witness Tree.
Location: Arizona, United States
Date Posted: 9/6/2014 5:26:36 PM
Waymark Code: WMMDYQ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Checkmark
Views: 2

Long Description:
This American elm tree on the campus of Northern Arizona University is historic for two reasons.

First, it started life as a sprig from the tree under which Gen. George Washington assumed command of the American Army during the revolution.

Secondly, this tree was recognized as an Arizona Centennial Witness Tree, meaning that it had been alive and growing in AZ since the first day of AZ statehood, and was still alive and growing at the AZ Centennial 100 years later.

The tree features two plaques at its base. The top plaque is from the Arizona Centennial Tree Council and reads as follows:

"The Arizona Community Tree Council and the Arizona Centennial Foundation designate this tree as a Centennial Witness Tree, verified to have witnessed Arizona's state history from Feb 14, 1912 to Feb 14, 2012."

The bottom plaque was placed by the Daughters of The American Revolution upon presentation of the tree to the school in 1931. That plaque reads:

"[DAR logo]

Under the forebear of this American Elm, George Washington assumed command of the Continental Army at Cambridge Massachusetts on July 3, 1775.

This sprig of the "Washington Elm" was donated to the Arizona State Teacher's College at Flagstaff by the Coconino Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and planted here on April 22, 1931.

Plaque was replaced 1987 by the Coconino Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution"

From the Louie's Legacy NAU QR code history project: (visit link)

"In 1931, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) donated a sprig of the Washington Elm to Arizona State College (ASC) in Flagstaff. Grown from a sapling, the tree is a descendent of the same elm under which George Washington is believed to have taken command of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. The planting in Flagstaff coincided with the two hundredth anniversary of Washington’s birth. The tree is an important part of Northern Arizona University Arboretum.

Mary George Washington, a descendent of the first president and a student at ASC, cared for the Washington Elm during its first two years on campus. As the College grew, so did the tree.

In 2011, scientists diagnosed the tree with European Elm Scale, an insect infection deadly to elms. The University and the DAR have been working to treat the Washington Elm. In that same year, NAU completed a renovation of the North Quad that removed nearby competing trees, allowing the elm to get more sunlight to help in its recovery."

And from the Arizona Republic: (visit link)

"As centennial nears, state honors trees of history
115-year-old olive tree is 1st to be dedicated
by Peter Corbett - Apr. 30, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

Scottsdale founder Winfield Scott died two years before statehood, but an olive tree he planted in 1896 took root as his legacy to 21st-century Arizona.

The 25-foot tree, unremarkable except for its age, was dedicated in a ceremony Thursday as Arizona's first Centennial Witness Tree, meaning it was already shading dusty Second Street on Statehood Day, Feb. 14, 1912.

More trees around the state that were in place that day will be dedicated in the coming months, all leading up to Arizona's centennial celebration next year.

Scott's olive trees were planted in what today is a busy area of downtown Scottsdale.

"They've been through thick and thin," said JoAnn Handley, Scottsdale Historical Museum manager. "They're very hearty."

She and others fought to protect Scott's olive trees in the early 1970s when an Old Town barrio was redeveloped for Civic Center Plaza.

Scott, a hearty Arizona pioneer, planted the tree along with dozens of other olive trees as a windbreak around a neighbor's 40-acre citrus grove.

A late-1890s drought doomed the citrus grove, but the olive trees survived as a living pale-green fence around the property until progress mowed many of them down along Scottsdale and Osborn roads.

Fast-forward through 115 years and 22 governors, and four of Scott's olive trees still stand, in the Second Street median in?front of the Scottsdale Center for the Arts. Another dozen stand sentry along Drinkwater Boulevard near Scottsdale Stadium.

A bust of Scott, carved 30 years ago from one of the fallen olive trees, is in the nearby Scottsdale Civic Center Library.

Other Centennial Witness Trees around the state will be recognized as part of the state's centennial celebrations, said Conni Ingallina, Arizona Community Tree Council executive director.

Arizonans can nominate other centennial trees through Nov. 1 by going online to

Others under consideration include:

-A towering Ponderosa pine at the Grand Canyon South Rim entrance.

-A 38-foot saguaro cactus in the Coronado National Forest near San Manuel.

-An American elm that is a clone of the tree that Gen. George Washington was standing under when he took command of the Continental Army in 1775. The elm was planted in 1931 near Old Main on the Northern Arizona University campus in Flagstaff.

-The "jail tree," a 200-year-old mesquite in Wickenburg that prisoners were chained to before the town had a cellblock for outlaws.

A "hanging tree" near the Vulture Mine, southwest of Wickenburg, will not be considered because it's on private property, said Louise Wakem, an Arizona Community Tree Council member.

The council is urging Arizonans to plant centennial trees to increase the state's shade canopy. A sapling might also become a Bicentennial Witness Tree in 2112."
Website: [Web Link]

Historic Event:
(1) It is a spring from the tree under which George Washington took command of the Continental Army in 1775 and (2) It has been verified as an AZ Centennial Witness tree.

Year: 1931

Species: American Elm

Approximate Age: 102

Location: Flagstaff AZ

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Benchmark Blasterz visited American Elm -- NAU Campus, Flagstaff AZ 8/8/2014 Benchmark Blasterz visited it