DED tolerant elms

jocelynpeiJune 26, 2012

Does anybody know of a nursery in Canada that sells any of the DED resistant elms, ones like Valley Forge etc? I know from reading the news that some Canadian cities are planting this variety, so it must be available here, but Where? I've got two seedlings of Valley Forge times Princeton, but it sure would save a lot of years to buy a started tree and breed from that.

Thanks so much


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'resistant' rather than 'tolerant'....

Can't help with sourcing as retail nurseries are completely staying away from American Elm.

Depending on your location and depth of interest, you may want to correspond with U of Guelph. Another option is to scout out your own mature trees and collect scions for grafting. I've often wanted to do it myself but instead just supplied tree locations to U of Guelph.

When you see a 100+ year old American Elm growing as a city street tree surviving when the self seeded elms in the rest of town make it to 25 years old and die, you probably have something special.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 10:23AM
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Thanks smivies. I have been corresponding with Guelph and Fredericton too. Both are being a little close, as they are on the edge of releasing selections. I hadn't thought of grafting, but I know of one tree about 30 km from our place that survived without treatment when nearly all of the others on that 2 acre parcel have died. I'll see if the owner will allow me to take a cutting or two next spring early.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 11:10AM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

This is interesting. I didn't know there were any resistant strains. When I studied genetics back in high school, I remember the American Elm being brought up as one of the most genetically uniform species of anything known on earth. Apparently there is very little genetic diversity at all in different populations, which is why they have been so decimated by the disease.

I'll be watching for more news from the universities on this. We had a big elm removed from our back yard a couple of years ago for DED, and I see many more marked in town for removal.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 4:06PM
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It's ability to produce pollen and seed at a young age, the large number and high viability of seed, and wind pollination would support a scenario of homogeneous genetics in a regional population, especially when there are no evolutionary pressures at play.

The same attributes can also spawn unique traits spontaneously and fairly frequently....the trick is to identify and isolate those traits before they are lost in the pollen mix again.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 10:23PM
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Fredericton has been most helpfull about grafting. I looked at some of their old e-mails and realized he had talked about losing a bunch of grafts in a bad winter. He seemed to be suggesting rooted cuttings of those genotypes that will root. I guess they all will, but some root at a low percentage or after a very long time. I don't know if it was Fredericton that mentioned grafting very low on the stock and mounding soil over the healed graft for eventual rooting or not. I think he was saying one needs to plant a bunch of slips off different resistant/tolerant trees and grow out the seedlings from that 'soup'.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 7:35AM
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Interesting thread. I always thought the Brandon elm was DED resistant, but a quick google search shows otherwise. Yet I think this is the elm that the city of Edmonton continues to plant along city streets and parks. What's with that? DED has made its way to Manitoba and Saskatchewan, so why does the city here think it won't make it to Alberta?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 4:59AM
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I think that unless an area is listed as "generally infested" by CFIA, you can't import the DED tolerant ones as they may be infected and not show....leading to importing the DED to an area free of it. Some areas will allow the asian DED resistant ones, but not the U. americana tolerant ones...go figure, grin. bureaucracy! sorry, can't be more help, it's a regulations thingy.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 2:36PM
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joeschmoe80(6 (Ohio))

I thought there were some nurseries that offered a few of the disease-resistant cultivars online...Princeton and Valley Forge, for example.

At least unlike the American Chestnut, the American Elm produces seed at a young enough age that it is unlikely to ever go extinct from DED. In fact it's still quite common around here...but only young specimens are common...and older ones that I know of, it seems like every year another one starts turning yellow in midsummer, and is dead a year or two later.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 9:14AM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

The streets in this old community in Edmonton are lined with Brandon Elm trees. They are prolific and fast growing here and many, including the ones in my yard are over 60 years old. Never had a problem with DED in my yard but I can't speak for the boulevarde trees. Some have been replaced lately with oaks. I believe many of the elms they have replaced were damaged from severe weather and age.

I have found out that Edmonton has a bylaw restricting the pruning or removal of Elm between the months of April and October, which is why the huge ones in this yard will have to wait till November to be trimmed from my neighbours fence line. :)

These old elms are beautiful trees but I must admit, their seeds sprouting all over are the worst weeds in this yard!


    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 10:53AM
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I think some areas of Canada are still only lightly infested with DED or even free of it. No such luck here, in PEI. We are considered 'generally infested'. Brandon gets planted where there is no DED. It's a pretty tree too, just won't live here. I'd love to get Valley Forge or some of the others, but can't locate a source yet. It has to be in Canada, or I need a permit to import, which is free, but the sender needs a phytosanitary certificate, and I can't find a sender who supplies those. At least CFIA puts no restrictions on moving elms into a generally infested area. Any place in Canada will do as a supplier. Seeds are OK too, but it takes many, many seedlings from tolerant parents to find a few that survive the DED. I haven't mastered taking cuttings yet, first try a few weeks ago, one slip, and it died. I'll try again next year, for the practice.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 12:16PM
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I don't know anything about import regulations so I can't comment on that. However, I've read in the past that since the Princeton Elm selection originated in New Jersey, it is a little questionable as hardy in zone 3. It seems to be widely sold in zone 4 in Minnesota. There is a new DED resistant American elm coming out of North Dakota called Prairie Expedition that has been planted on streets in Fargo. It doesn't seem to be available at retail, although I know of one nursery that is growing it for sale; just not there yet.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 9:28PM
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There are elm trials going on in Alberta or perhaps Saskatchewan, but I don't think they are releasing anything yet. These are growing in colder areas, zone 3 or so. It might be still planting LOTS of seeds from local survivors, many survivors, and then, if you can get them, seeds from the tolerant selections as well. SOMETHING in all that soup will swap genes the right way and you can take slips or layer branches to make more copies. Anybody in a generally infested area can send slips to any other generally infested area....within Canada anyway.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 10:37AM
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