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W.J. Beal Botanical Garden’s Spartan Tree Stories

7. The Roosevelt Elm

Ulmus x hollandica 'Vegata'

The Roosevelt Elm is no longer standing on the MSU Campus, but pieces of it remain. Archived materials of the tree are occasionally displayed at the MSU Museum.

The Roosevelt elm was planted on campus by President Theodore Roosevelt to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of Michigan State Agricultural College on May 31, 1907. It was planted next to house #1 on Faculty Row near the intersection of West Circle Drive and Beal Street. The tree was moved to across West Circle Drive into the Circle in February 1945 to make room for the construction of Gilchrest-Yakeley Hall. Sadly, the tree died in October 1947. Wood samples were collected from the tree, and some are in the MSU Museum and MSU Archives.

- Dr. Frank W. Telewski
Retired, Director of W. J. Beal Botanical Garden and Campus Arboretum
Professor Emeritus, Department of Plant Biology