Landscape: Restoring Vermont Elms?

There are almost none of the majestic giant elms that I remember when I was a kid.

A beautiful old elm stands guard over a farmhouse on Route 105 between Sheldon and Enosburg, Vermont.

Every once in awhile you see a nice old one, one of the few that are hanging in there. There’s one at the Kwiniaska golf course in Shelburne, there’s another on Route 105 west of Enosburg. They are so few and far between.

As almost everyone knows, they were killed off by Dutch Elm Disease. A zillion elms still grow, but most of them are killed off young or at best at middle age by Dutch Elm.

A youngish elm tree is biting the dust through Dutch elm disease at the edge of my St. Albans property

Seems like the elms know they are under assault, so they create all kinds of young ‘uns, just to perpetuate the species, even if few elms make it to old age. In fact, when you cut down a young elm, the stump continually keeps sprouting back. You can’t finish them off.

Humans are trying to help bring back elms.  Scientists have been playing around with elm DNA and disease resistant trees to come up with elms that don’t die of Dutch Elm. The Burlington Free Press yesterday carried a story about people planting diseasee-resistant elms in Shelburne, Vermont.

I hope it works, as I’ve said before, desirable species like ash trees, and all kind of other plants and animals are under assault in Vermont.

If this keeps up, will we end up with only rats, roaches and weeds to grace our landscape? Hope I’m not around to see that.

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