Plant Guide > Trees > Elms and Hackberries > Planer Tree or Water Elm Tree

Planer Tree or Water Elm Tree

Planer Tree or Water Elm TreePlaner Tree, Water Elm (Planera aquatica, Gmel.)-Small tree, 30 to 40 feet high, with short trunk and slender, crooked branches forming a low, round crown. Twigs reddish. Bark thin, scaly, grey; inner layers red. Wood light, soft, fine grained, brown. Buds small, ovoid, scaly. Leaves, February to March; dull green, paler beneath, 2-ranked, elm-like, 2 to 2 1/2 inches long, unilateral. Flowers with leaves, monoecious or polygamous, axillary, in fascicles, small. Fruit 1-seeded drupe in dry; thin, horny, pericarp; seed shiny, black. Preferred habitat, inundated swamps. Distribution, North Carolina to Florida; west to Missouri and Texas. Rare.

This tree is interesting chiefly as a botanical remnant of its family. Several species of this genus once grew in Alaska and in the Rocky Mountains. Closely related forms are preserved in the tertiary rocks in Europe.