"Rock Elm is one of those species which can leave an immediate impression on the observer" writes Owen Clarkin, who commissioned this painting.
"It frequently develops a rugged growth form with deeply ridged mature bark, pendulous "claw-like" branches, and corky twigs. To me this tree (the "Merrickville Monster") signifies how the common can become rare and eventually obscure, given that Rock Elm is poorly known to the public at present. Rock Elm was historically documented as being a common tree in Ontario, being exported to England as square timber for shipbuilding (etc.) and supporting industries such as the manufacture of hockey sticks, piano frames, vehicle frames, and tool handles. The wood of the species is one of the hardest, strongest, and toughest of any large tree, and it