ELMS RETURN TO ELM STREET

INTRODUCTION: ELMS AND AN ELM ENEMY

The "main street" in Manchester, NH is Elm Street. It runs through the city in a north-south direction and passes directly through the city center.The street derived its name from numerous tall and graceful elm trees (Ulmus americana ) that originally lined a large portion of the thoroughfare.

The American elm is one of our tallest and fastest growing canopy trees. Mature specimens can reach over 100 feet in height, and the Massachusetts champion American elm (the "Parsons Elm" in Stockbridge) measures at least 117 feet. The growth pattern of elms characteristically results in a vase or urn-like configuration, as shown in this photograph by Gilbert Carley of an elm presently growing at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA. As would be expected, elms are excellent shade-providers.

Unfortunately, Manchester's Elm Street gradually became nearly devoid of elm trees. Many of the original elms were victims of the 1938 hurricane, and most of the remaining elms succumbed to the Dutch Elm Disease (DED), a problem which occurred in many other places throughout the United States and Canada.

Despite the tragic effects of DED, elm enthusiasts everywhere currently have reason to be optimistic about the tree's future. We now have a thorough understanding of the nature of DED and its mode of transmission, so that its destructive effects can be kept to a minimum. Furthermore dedicated scientists and naturalists have created painstaking methodologies for the development and growth of DED-resistant varieties of the American elm, and recent evidence indicates that their efforts have been definitely worthwhile.

TOPICS

DUTCH ELM DISEASE

DED-RESISTANT AMERICAN ELMS AND HYBRIDS

MANCHESTER'S ELMS

"NEW ELMS" IN OTHER COMMUNITIES

ELMS IN ACTON, MA

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