A Healthy Mature American Elm is a Relatively Rare Find These Days

The Northampton Gazette did an article on the Elm Project. see link below


Gazette Contributing Writer
Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Once the dominant tree species in Massachusetts, a healthy mature American elm is a relatively rare find these days. That is why scientists from the Nature Conservancy are on the hunt for the few remaining mature elms in New England with hopes of propagating traits that have protected them from the devastating Dutch elm disease.

“You can go into the forest now and see hundreds of American elm saplings, but they rarely live past five years due to this disease,” said Kim Lutz, director of the Connecticut River Program for the Nature Conservancy.

Three years ago, Nature Conservancy ecologist Christian Marks began a project to restore the American elm to Connecticut River floodplain forests using a population of disease-resistant trees.

To accomplish this, Marks travels throughout New England to locate mature healthy elms. His team then harvests 15 to 20 branches from each tree in the spring before the leaf…

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