According to the plaque located by this tree in Provo,
“This exceedingly rare Ulmus Americana tree (also known as White Elm or a Weeping American Elm) was planted in 1927 by Moroni Wilford (Roni) Christopherson of Spanish Fork, Utah. Roni was an employee of Utah County for twenty-seven years.
Sometime in 1927, the county commissioners sent Roni and Elmer Pulley to Ogden, Utah to buy trees, shrubs and flowers for the Utah County Courthouse grounds as a landscaping project. The nursery owner gave Roni this tree as a gift. The tree was an experimental ornamental tree created by budding different trees together.
Roni chose to plant his gift tree east of the Utah County Courthouse where people could stop and admire its beauty. The nursery owner came to Provo several times to check the treee and its growing stage. The nursery owner called the tree a Weeping American Elm.”
According to the county website: (http://www.utahcountyonline.org/CoInfo/Tree.asp)
This tree is a “Ulmus Americana….the rare tabletop elm tree”.
According to County Engineer, Clyde Naylor,
the tree is rare as it is the only known tree of its kind in the United States. Landscape experts that have inspected it have been unable to find another one like it; all attempts to clone or reproduce the tree have been unsuccessful, its seedlings have never grown into the same kind of tabletop shape.
The tree is listed on the Utah Heritage Tree program that was established in the 1980’s and is a “protected” by the state, meaning the Utah Community Forest Council must first be consulted first whenever decisions are made that might affect the tree. It tree maintained by multiple County employees who provide special care for it, once even importing thousands of ladybugs to kill aphids that were attacking the tree. The tree produces six or seven dump truck loads leaf debris each fall. Its branches are supported by specially-fitted braces to support the weight and provide stability.