Disease-Resistant Dutch Elm and Feather Diapers

This short series of reports includes news on scientists creating disease-resistant Dutch elm hybrids and U.S. Department of Agriculture converting chicken feather by-products into feather diapers.


| October/November 1996



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Since the 1930s, Dutch elm disease, caused by a deadly fungus (Ophiostoma ulmi), has destroyed more than 80 million American elm trees


PHOTO: USDA-ARS

News briefs on scientists creating disease-resistant Dutch elm hybrids and chicken feather by-products are converted into feather diapers. 

Disease-Resistant Dutch Elm Trees and Feather Diapers

Return of the American Elm 

The American elm, long absent from cities and towns across the U.S. will soon line streets and parks with its majestic features once again, hope researchers at the U.S. National Arboretum who introduced two new varieties of Dutch elm disease-tolerant American elm trees in June.

The new trees, named Valley Forge and New Harmony elm, were developed by a team of scientists at the arboretum after more than 20 years of research.

At one time, "American elm trees were the main landscape tree in cities and towns," said Alden Townsend, the National Arboretum plant geneticist who worked on the project.

The American elm (Ulmus americana), which can grow more than 100 feet tall, is noted for its hardiness and tolerance to stresses in urban environments. It can withstand drought, air pollution, and deicing road salts, says Thomas Elias, director of the arboretum. The tree also supports many kinds of wildlife and has a spreading canopy that offers shade.





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