Saving the American Elm

August 15, 2001


Provided by: Bruce Carley; Gilbert Carley
Summary authors & editor: Jim Foster

For years, American Elm trees had graced city streets as well as rural landscapes, until the early 1900s when they were ravaged by Dutch Elm disease. It's estimated that by 1970 more than 77 million American Elms were killed by this disease. However, some strides have been made in recent years to restore the stately American Elm, which was at one time found in every state east of the Rockies. Genetic research has offered hope that new resistant strains will make the elms hardier and therefore less susceptible to the fungus that once left them barren. The high-arching, vase-shaped American Elm tree can reach a height of nearly 100 feet, and it's the state tree of Massachusetts, Ohio, and North Dakota.

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