Ulmus americana, a great American native tree
I have long admired this tree in Hopkinsville, KY. I've never held one of its leaves in my hand, but I've stood under it, looked up at its leaves, and thought, "My gosh, that is an elm tree!"
Though the American Elm population of the United States has been decimated by Dutch Elm disease, some elms have managed to elude or fend off the disease, and this seems to be one of the survivors.
I believe this big beauty is ulmus americana, the American elm. The rock elm is also a tall tree, but it has a narrower crown with the branches growing in more of a vertical direction. The American elm is noted for its fountain shape and wide crown, and this tree certainly exemplifies those characteristics.
An interesting thing about elms is that their bark was sometimes used to make canoes in old times. The Shawnees often skinned a long tube of bark off an elm tree at the river's edge and put together a canoe that was good enough to get them to the other side. (Of course, this killed the elm tree.)
One of the best places to look at photos of elms in the days of their glory is the American Environmental Photographs, 1891-1936 (AEP) collection, which is owned by the University of Chicago. These photos document some of America's great American elms before Dutch Elm disease began to take its toll in the 1930's.
I don't think I can legally use the AEP images under the guidelines of fair use, so I'll give a link to a search for "American elm". Be sure to look at photos 1 and 14, if you look at no others.
There's good news about modern American elms! Several cultivars with resistance or tolerance to Dutch elm disease have been developed in recent years. Look for Princeton, Liberty, Valley Forge, New Harmony or Jefferson in the name. Hopefully, even more cultivars will emerge as time goes by.
The buds of the American elm and its seeds (produced in spring) are eaten by over a dozen game birds and songbirds, as well as rabbits, squirrels and foxes. Along streams, the tree also provides food for wood ducks, beaver, and muskrat. Deer may graze on the twigs and foliage.
The American elm can live up to 200 years, and it tolerates a wide range of growing conditions. It can be expected to grow to a height of 20 feet or more within ten years. It is a native tree of nearly every state east of the Rocky Mountains.
The elm's stout branches resist weather damage, but the tree is vulnerable to various insect attacks (galls, borers, etc.) as well as various types of wilts, cankers, etc. (in addition to Dutch elm disease.) You may have to spray it from time to time. Your county extension agent should be able to advise a schedule of preventative care. With some attention to its needs, it will be a tree of generous shade and great beauty and grace.