Returning Elm trees to Warrensburg

The Warrensburgh Historical Society will plant two young American Elm trees on the front lawn of the Senior Center on Arbor Day, Friday April 30 and the public is invited to attend the event.

The Warrensburg Town Board accepted this donation of trees from the Society at its meeting last week. Paul Gilchrist, Society president, explained that these are Liberty Elms acquired from the Elm Research Institute in Keene, NH. They are highly resistant to the Dutch Elm Disease fungus that wiped out nearly all of the nation's large elm trees during the twentieth century.

The Liberty Elm is not a hybrid or foreign strain, but a genuine American Elm derived from survivors of generation after generation of elms inoculated with the disease in a program conducted over the past five decades by Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin.

The Liberty Elm takes its name from the famous elm tree in Boston under which patriots gathered during the period leading up to the American Revolution, and which was cut down by loyalists as the British were forced to leave Boston, under siege by George Washington.

The Society wants to encourage people to purchase and plant similar young elm trees around town to eventually restore this once-dominant stately tree that used to line the streets and grace the yards of Warrensburg by the hundreds.

Two elms were planted on the lawn of the library last fall, and two more have recently been planted at the middle west entrance of the cemetery.

One of the largest elms in the nation, 200 feet up Oscar's Smokehouse driveway, was recently recognized as a National Historic Elm. Two other large elms are located on Alden Ave., one of them 30 feet from River Street.

Students from the high school environmental science class will assist in the planting Friday, which is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Information about how one can order Liberty Elms is found online at elmresearch.org, or by calling (800) 367-3567. Prices are very reasonable and delivery takes about two days, Gilchrist said.

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