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W.J. Beal Botanical Garden’s

Spartan Tree Stories

7. The Roosevelt Elm (Ulmus x hollandica 'Vegata', 19070001*01)

The Roosevelt Elm is no longer standing on the MSU Campus, but pieces of it remain. To see a part of it, please visit the display in the MSU Museum. The display is located on the main floor near the south stairs.  It is a small display, so you may have to look for it.

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

The Roosevelt Elm
(Ulmus x hollandica 'Vegata')

Photo Credit: MSU Archives - A000882

"Photo must have been taken before 1945 when the tree was moved from its original location to the south side of West Circle Drive." MSU Archives.

Roosevelt Elm plaque, MSU Archives
Photo Credit: MSU Archives - A000881