Magazine article American Forests

Elm-Entary Evolution

Magazine article American Forests

Elm-Entary Evolution

Article excerpt

A group of saplings growing in an Ohio meadow represent what researchers hope will be a brighter future for America's beloved but almost vanished American elm.

Researchers in Ohio are clustering seedlings grown from the few, scattered trees that have recovered from Dutch elm disease, according to an Associated Press story. They hope the trees will cross-pollinate in the wild, staving off the disease in future generations of the species.

Jim Slavicek, a geneticist at the U.S. Forest Service research station, told the Associated Press, "The American elm is part of our heritage, and through this project we hope to make it part of our legacy."

Before the onslaught of Dutch elm disease, American elms were a beloved urban tree thanks to their leafy canopy and ability to tolerate air pollution, road salt, and extremes in weather. Dutch elm disease killed an estimated 90 percent of the American elms in the United States. Today, a few U.S. cities, such as Minneapolis and Washington, DC, are vigilant about protecting their remaining trees. …

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