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Writing History & Mysteries

When I'm not delving into historical research, I'm planning a character's demise.

Monday, July 01, 2013

The Mighty Elm Tree

Elm Tree Inn, Keene Center, Adirondack Mountain, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Western New Yorker
Warsaw, NY
June 25, 1940

     Elm tress in this village [Warsaw] were sprayed last week as a means of combating the destructiveness of the Dutch Elm Beetle. There are approximately 300 elms in the village and the work of spraying them was done by a Rochester firm of tree surgeons.
     The trees have been sprayed for the past few years and as a result the elm beetle has inflicted little or no damage.

Unfortunately, in another 35 years, the beetle would destroy almost every elm tree in New York State. Very few survived. A magnificent tree as you can see by the above photograph. I grew up in Buffalo and it devastated me as a child to see their demise. They are still my favorite tree and when I have a larger parcel of property I am going to attempt to replant some seeds. Do any of you have any elm trees still? I really miss their beauty.

Tomorrow, a poem I wrote about growing up in Buffalo in the 1960s, and of course the elms are mentioned.

This post is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, to post to your blog everyday in July.


  1. Elms are gorgeous, and I have seen some here and there in Missouri; however, Dutch Elm Disease has done a lot of damage all over North America. It's sad to see the slow destruction of such a wonderful living thing.

  2. That's pretty sad. My favorite growing up was the Weeping Willows. Being in North Carolina, every tree is a pine tree!

    When we'd vacation further up north where my grandmother lived, we'd pass neighborhoods with all kinds of trees. It was my favorite part of driving north. Yay! Different trees. LOL

  3. I remember elms not from my native New York City but from a small town in Iowa that I visited in 1968. My Aunt and Uncle lived there. The town was in the process of cutting down all the elms and down came my Aunt's elm while I was visiting. What a sad day. It kept putting up shoots for a couple of years, until they had the stump removed.

  4. Yes, Dutch Elm disease. I wonder today if it was literally overkill. Not all the trees were marked with the red X. I cried the day ours was marked. I hear Forrest Lawn in Buffalo still has some so I hope to go hunt down some seeds. :)


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