The American Elm is a species of tree native to the northeastern United States, and elms can also thrive in the temperate climate of the Pacific Northwest. Elms can grow to seventy feet high, with a wide-spreading canopy of branches which makes the tree beloved of the shade it provides.
The majesty of the American Elm’s height and broad canopy may be the reason why a row of elms were planted in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in about the year 1700 alongside the town commons, a central gathering place.
On July 3, 1775, General George Washington came to Cambridge Common to address the assembled volunteers of the first American Revolutionary Army. It is very likely that General Washington stood in the shade of the elm trees at Cambridge Common that day.
Nearly 250 years later we still have four American Elm trees in Seattle which are George Washington Elms because they are descended from one of the original trees at Cambridge Common.