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Disease-Tolerant Elms in Minnesota: The Search Continues

The story of planting American elm trees has become much more complicated since Dutch elm disease (DED) arrived in Minnesota. Prior to the arrival of the disease, elm saplings were often dug up from the wild and transplanted into cities and communities. Now we have to go through a rigorous process to find disease resistant elm cultivars, because anything we plant from the wild has a high likelihood of becoming infected with DED. There are some disease-tolerant elm cultivars being planted in Minnesota, but they are not from the state.

Elm Planting Was Once Mandatory

Check out Carl G. Langland’s editorial on the upcoming Dutch elm disease epidemic and the post-elm urban forest scene in Saint Paul, MN. 

Published August 4th, 1963

Carl G. Langland’s editorial

From Twigs to Trees

Elm trees in the research plots begin life as a cuttings taken from growing elms.  The material to grow the new trees is taken from trees that are already established in the nursery. Our volunteer Lara, Jonathan, and I pruned off all of the lower branches from one plot of the nursery elms. After removing the branches off, we took them to be processed.

New Elms for Minnesota

Scientists and students from the University were also present at the Minnesota State Capitol 2014 marks the ninth year that researchers at the University of Minnesota have been collecting,cloning, and screening Minnesota-native elm trees for Dutch Elm Disease (DED) resistance.

Goodbye to Iowa State

Iowa StateLast fall I had the opportunity to join Mr. Don Willeke in observing the removal of a large 'Iowa State' American elm at his neighbor's house in the Dean Park area of Minneapolis.

Elm Grafting

Check out this neat time-lapse video of our elm grafting process! Created by our very own J.W. Fillmore…and featuring American elm rootstocks from our friends at Three Rivers Parks District Nursery.