The Jelm

Charlie Pepper and Michelle Pizzillo recently visited me in Washington D.C. We spent the day together learning about the Jefferson Elm and exploring the arboretum.

We started the day finding the Jefferson Elm, a special Elm tree on the National Mall. The Jefferson Elm is important because it has a very high resistance to Dutch Elm Disease. Dutch Elm disease is carried by a beetle and results in the tree’s death. The Jefferson Elm was selected by the National Park Service from approximately 600 Elms planted on the National Mall in Washington D.C. in the 1930”s. This particular Elm was chosen for its disease tolerance and exceptional horticulture characteristics. James Sherald discovered the Elm and began to cultivate cuttings resulting in the first disease tolerant American Elm cultivar by the NPS.

After finding the Jefferson Elm we headed over to see Barry who showed us how cuttings are taken from trees on the Mall, grown and planted with the help from his volunteers.

Later we headed over to the National Arboretum to meet David. David gave us an informative tour and told us about plant propagation and the characteristics that they look for in a successful and disease resistant plant. We finished the day walking around the turf grass area and the Bonsai garden. It was a super fun day and I learned a lot. Check out the Arboretum web site at http://www.usna.usda.gov/ . Thank you to everyone who made that great day possible.

 

3 responses to “The Jelm

  1. “The JELM”…perfect acronym! I agree, Andreas, the day was fun and really interesting. Who would have thought that so much behind the scenes work goes into caring for the trees on the National Mall…botanical selection, cloning, field trials, propagation, greenhouse and nursery growing, digging with a ten foot diameter tree spade, etc.! Amazing people doing some incredible work to preserve this national treasure! Glad we had the opportunity to spend the day together and learn about this.

    Liked by 1 person

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