In 1931, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) donated a sprig of the Washington Elm to Arizona State College (ASC) in Flagstaff. Grown from a sapling, the tree is a descendent of the same elm under which George Washington is believed to have taken command of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. The planting in Flagstaff coincided with the two hundredth anniversary of Washington’s birth. The tree is an important part of Northern Arizona University Arboretum.
Mary George Washington, a descendent of the first president and a student at ASC, cared for the Washington Elm during its first two years on campus. As the College grew, so did the tree.
In 2011, scientists diagnosed the tree with European Elm Scale, an insect infection deadly to elms. The University and the DAR have been working to treat the Washington Elm. In that same year, NAU completed a renovation of the North Quad that removed nearby competing trees, allowing the elm to get more sunlight to help in its recovery.