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“But it took four.” In the end, the three interns, with help from a band of volunteers, completed 4,827 cuttings. But three weeks later, more than 90 percent had successfully rooted, defying expectations. ” says Stone, who then worked nearly round the clock to get all the rooted cuttings potted.Those that survive, will eventually be transplanted into trial plots, where they will be tested for disease-resistance.We aren’t sitting back and chuckling at these women. The Wallace Elm in Colebrook, NH, harvested in 2017.
First described in the Netherlands in 1919, the Dutch elm fungus is carried by the European elm bark beetle, which crossed the Atlantic in 1930 in a shipment of logs purchased by an Ohio furniture maker.Along the way, he’s developed an eye for what he calls survivor trees—like the two on Elwell Island in Northampton, Massachusetts, where Colby’s stems were harvested. “I’m always watching, always looking.” As he drives New England’s winding roads, Marks peers into the forests, past the shadows, looking for the elm’s distinctive vase-shaped form, rising above the canopy.These massive trees—often 100 feet tall and more than 100 years old—stand alone in the forest now, surrounded by smaller dead and dying elms, reminders of another time.But for most of us, the giant elm is the stuff of legend, a lost wonder of the natural world.And while young elms persist along our riverbanks, almost none survive long enough to reach the canopy.