A Large Tree May Hold the Key to Finding the Cure to a Disease that has Deforested Suburban Landscapes for Decades

The below story is an excerpt taken from a podcast done by WAMC in Albany, for the full story see link at bottom.

A large tree in a small Berkshire town may hold the key to finding the cure to a disease that has deforested suburban landscapes for decades.

Credit Lucas Willard / WAMC

Jim McSweeney, a certified arborist from Chesterfield, Massachusetts, is standing with a pole saw under a massive elm tree along a sidewalk in Great Barrington. He’s taking of the samples of the twigs and buds that haven’t yet formed into flowers in the early spring.

McSweeney is contracting with the Nature Conservancy to take samples of select, large elm trees across the Northeast. Ecologist Christian Marks said that they are after survivors of Dutch elm disease.

Dutch elm disease is caused by an invasive fungus carried on the backs of beetles that feed on the twigs and bark of several elm species. Introduced from Europe in the1930s, the disease destroyed elms and shady streetscapes in the United States throughout the following decades. The streets of Albany were historically famous for their impressive elms.

An unaffected tree can live for hundred…

photo taken by Tom Zetterstrom

For the full story & pod cast vist…

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