Gillet Ave., in Waukegan, IL, as it appeared in the Summer of 1962 (left), and the same street, same spot, ten years later, with its avenue of elms wiped out by Dutch elm disease (right). What is Elm Research Institute?
Gillet Ave., in Waukegan, IL, as it appeared in the Summer of 1962 (left), and the same street, same spot, ten years later, with its avenue of elms wiped out by Dutch elm disease (right).
What is Elm Research Institute?
ELM RESEARCH INSTITUTE, a non-profit organization, was established in 1967 to rally support from the private sector for D.E.D. research. Through grants and membership dues, ERI research led to the development of a preventive injection for American elms and the introduction of the disease- resistant AMERICAN LIBERTY ELM.
ERI members organized a national movement to save the elm from extinction. The first step was to overcome a defeatist attitude toward the disease.
• 1968 Backed by the generosity of private foundations, ERI provided grants to leading researchers in the field of DED The latest knowledge was brought to bear in a crash program focused on developing a DED control and a disease-resistant pure-bred American elm.
• 1968 Persuaded the corporate community to turn research findings into treatment compounds.
• 1975 Introduced the first practical pressure injection system for treating tree systemically, designed for use by arborists and elm owners alike. Over 100,000 American elms have been injected with E.P.A. approved “Elm Fungicide”, with a success rate of over 95%”. This compares with losses of over 50% in untreated trees during the same period.
• 1983 Began propagating the AMERICAN LIBERTY ELM (Ulmus americana libertas), the first disease-resistant American elm with a pedigree and warranty against DED. The new tree is a product of twenty years of genetic research under ERI grants at the University of Wisconsin. A thoroughly American elm,it preserves the traditional shape and hardiness, unlike European or Asian hybrids.
• 1984 Initiated distribution of Liberty Elms using “Johnny Elmseed” volunteers.
• 1991 Started research to develop DNA markers for the American Liberty Elms.
• 1994 700 Johnny Elmseed Nurseries established nationwide.
• 1995 Introduction of the Liberty Tree Memorial commemorating our country’s founding with the special planting of an American Liberty Elm.
• 1996 Expansion of the Johnny Elmseed Nursery project to a regional level to serve multiple communities from a single nursery.
• 2000 Introduction of the Demonstration Tree Program to provide cities with street-size trees for immediate planting.
• 2000 Over 250,000 elms planted to date. DED loss rate less than 1%.
• 2001 Releases “Re-Elming America: the Johnny Elmseed Regional Nursery Project”. An inspirational 12 minute educational video designed to motivate local volunteer groups and encourage local sponsors.
• 2001 Introduces Lifetime Warranty on American Liberty Elm.
• 2003 First reports from field indicating Liberty Elms recover completely from DED attack if pruned immediately and severely.
• 2001 ERI offers special Liberty Tree Memorial for towns who wish to honor victims of the tragic events that took place September 11.
• 2007 Approximately 350,000 disease-resistant Liberty Elms have been planted across the U.S. with less than 1% loss to DED.
• 2008 Over 300 communities have “Liberty Tree” Memorials. ERI’s goal is 1,000 Memorials by 2010.
• 2009 The “Liberty Tree” Society - founded to honor America’s first symbol of freedom is established.
• 2010 More reports of complete recovery when Liberty Elms pruned severely at first sign of DED.
• 2011 Nearly 500 Liberty Tree Memorials established in time for Liberty Tree Day observance, August 14 when Governors, Mayors and State Representatives are asked to read the Liberty Tree Day proclamation at their Liberty Tree Memorial