Target: Ecologists at The Nature Conservancy
Goal: Praise ecologists for their remarkable efforts in developing restraints against the Dutch elm disease, which has been damaging trees in the Northeast
In an effort to restore American Elm trees that have been ravaged by disease, scientists at The Nature Conservancy are gathering branches from thriving American Elms throughout New England. These cuttings will be used to help develop disease-restraint strains to tackle any future outbreaks of the Dutch elm disease. Applaud the ecologists at The Nature Conservancy for their efforts in saving the iconic American Elm tree.
The Dutch elm disease broke out in the Northeast beginning in the 1950s and is still raging into the present. Just decades ago, the American Elm populated most city streets and parks throughout the nation. Before the disease became prominent, American Elms would grow to towering heights, producing a canopy that was both flood and shade tolerant.
Still the most dominant tree species inhabiting the Connecticut River watershed, the existing trees are much smaller than normal due to the outbreak of the disease. Conservancy ecologist Christian Marks remarks on the beneficial attributes of the American Elm, stating that the trees absorb flood waters, protecting communities from dangerous flood damage.
Branch samples are to be collected by ecologists all throughout New England. The trees that ecologists are specifically looking for are healthy trees that are growing near other disease inflicted trees. These older, healthier trees are likely to have been exposed to the disease multiple times and may possess a genetic resistance.
Once the branch samples are collected, the cuttings will be crossed with selections from the U.S Forest Service which have already been confirmed as highly tolerant to Dutch elm disease. In hopes of restoring the floodplain forest, the resulting offspring from the crossings will be planted at various restoration sites.
Commend the ecologists at The Nature Conservatory for exercising their knowledge and skill to develop disease-restraint strains against the Dutch elm disease ravaging New England.
Dear Ecologists at The Nature Conservancy,
Since the 1950s, the Dutch elm disease has been ravaging the Northeast, decimating the once abundant trees in parks and neighborhoods. The American Elm plays an important role in providing communities with protection against potential upheaval from flood waters.
By gathering samples and branch cuttings to cross with healthy elm trees, you are aiding in the preservation and restoration of American Elm forests and increasing growth in floodplain areas. Furthermore, I fully support and encourage your efforts to continue collecting samples in order to eradicate the Dutch elm disease.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: wallyg via Flickr