About the Elms Collection

The Elms Collection is a partnership between the Penn State Alumni Association and Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant. A portion of the proceeds from the collection helps replant trees on campus, making a positive impact on Penn State. The furniture, frames, and gift items are exclusively available through this website and online store. 

Update

Elm yellows disease is stabilizing on campus. As we better understand how to manage the disease, fewer elm trees need to be trimmed or removed and the supply of elm wood has been greatly reduced. Resources needed to produce larger pieces of the Elms Collection furniture are becoming limited in nature because of this disease mitigation.

We will continue to fulfill orders for all pieces while the wood is available and retains the quality of the Elms Collection. We will also continue to confirm wood supplies with manufacturers prior to production to ensure prompt updates on order status. 

For product availability, please visit the individual Elms Collection product pages. For holiday ordering details and timelines, please see the Customer Service section. 

History

The stately Penn State elms have been the living witnesses to our roots as a University, dating back to the 1890's when the first elm tree was planted. They have watched history unfold through generations of students and have stood to symbolize Penn State as much as the iconic Nittany Lion Shrine and Old Main, making them near and dear to Penn Staters everywhere.

Now Endangered

Penn State's treasured elm trees are slowly disappearing. Elm yellows disease, a deadly bacteria-like infection for which there is no known cure, has infected 65 of the 290 trees (as of June 2011), more than 22 percent of all elm trees at University Park since the disease was detected in 2008.

Elm yellows, also known as elm phloem necrosis, is a disease specific to North American elms. The bacteria-like organism infects the root cells and the inner bark that carries nutrients to all parts of the tree, but does not invade the core of the tree. The disease essentially prevents the tree from receiving adequate nourishment, ultimately killing it. Once a tree dies, so does the whitebanded elm leafhopper, leaving the elm wood unaffected.

Learn more about the elms’ battle.

 

Fighting Back

Since the elm yellows disease was detected on campus, Penn State plant pathologists have been racing to find a cure. The University has been injecting both healthy trees and infected trees with a fluid analogous to an antibiotic, which has seemed to help slow the spread of the disease.

Replanting

When the elm trees are removed, they are being replaced with several different species of trees that have a higher disease resistance while still offering the majestic canopies associated with the elms.

Wood from removed elm trees has been used to create The Penn State Elms Collection, with a portion of the proceeds going towards planting replacement trees in the historic core of the Penn State campus.