sick elm?

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wisconsitom
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Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 4:08 pm

Re: sick elm?

Post by wisconsitom » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:44 am

Orangey-colored lichens is all I see....and this is utterly commonplace, on elms and numerous other tree species. Elms, as we know, face some really serious issues in today's landscapes......but lichens aren't one of them! Mutualistic and harmless symbionts containing a fungus and an alga or a blue-green alga which is actually a bacteria.....or both! These are some seriously interesting organisms. Oh and BTW, when you see similar patches on trunks, but they're all white or light gray, these are pre-photosynthetic lichens, ones in which the alga (or blue-green alga) have not yet set up shop. Must have spoken to this occurrence one hundred times by now on the Houzz tree board.

jclarke
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:22 pm

Re: sick elm?

Post by jclarke » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:01 am

Wow, if that tree had a buddy and was producing seed, I'd be begging for seed in the mail by now :) It's a lovely elm. Our woods is wet and I beg elm seeds every chance I get, grin.
It looks healthy to me too, lots of fine twigs up top, picture of health to me.

Whatever the orange stuff is, it grows on the bark here too, lichens are very common here, probably that. Anybody playing with seed from old elms, survivors from when the DED went through? I know some where just not exposed, but some probably were, and 'like begets like', so I plant seeds from old elms when I can. Anybody else doing that?

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Lucas
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Re: sick elm?

Post by Lucas » Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:04 am

jclarke wrote:Wow, if that tree had a buddy and was producing seed, I'd be begging for seed in the mail by now :) It's a lovely elm. Our woods is wet and I beg elm seeds every chance I get, grin.
It looks healthy to me too, lots of fine twigs up top, picture of health to me.

Whatever the orange stuff is, it grows on the bark here too, lichens are very common here, probably that. Anybody playing with seed from old elms, survivors from when the DED went through? I know some where just not exposed, but some probably were, and 'like begets like', so I plant seeds from old elms when I can. Anybody else doing that?
I see lots of mature elms here. Any tips on getting the seed?
We travel the Milky way together, trees and men. - John Muir

wisconsitom
Posts: 181
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 4:08 pm

Re: sick elm?

Post by wisconsitom » Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:23 pm

Heh...I've been at this elm game for a while now. First-I wasn't guessing-that orangey stuff is lichen, case closed. But secondly, when you see a nice young elm, apparently unaffected by DED, you are being fooled by your own hopes and expectations. American elms simply do not succumb to this disease until they've attained some size. There are little 6 and 10 inch trees all over the place, looking healthy. They will all end up dying of DED. Cheery fellow, aren't I?

All that said, I too get excited by seeing large and apparently healthy American elms out in the landscape. I suppose each one of us tree geeks knows of one or two or several such specimens. Even there I've learned not to expect much. I've seen enormous elms which, having escaped the ravages of DED in its initial push through an area, have taunted me with their apparent "resistance". Invariably, it has only been a matter of time before the pathogen gets to them. They all get it eventually.

Still without trying, we know the game is lost. So in that sense, I do support your efforts, even if my own have been 100% disappointments.

jclarke
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:22 pm

Re: sick elm?

Post by jclarke » Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:37 pm

Lucas, the seeds just fall to the ground in the early summer. You sweep them up and many will come up right away, with a few the following year. The seeds fall about 6 weeks after bloom, late June, early July here.
Tom, I know many will die, but Princeton and its ilk were all 'found' trees, old survivors. There are several over 2 feet through in the Charlottetown area, and DED has been more or less continuous there since the 1980's. Here, they catch the DED, and the ones that survive look really bad that year, but better year two and three. There aren't many, most just die slowly., over a few years. All of them die, if they get it when already very old. Still, there are 2 and 3 and 5 century old elms here.

wisconsitom
Posts: 181
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 4:08 pm

Re: sick elm?

Post by wisconsitom » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:28 am

Yes, of course you're right, jclarke. I may have given the impression that I view these efforts as a waste of time. If so, I erred as that was not at all my intent. If anything, I had the same ideas....long ago...and have since seen far too many of these "survivors" succumb. Of course-as an elm lover from way back-I hope this initiative bears fruit. to this day, I still consider the American elm as the finest street, yard and just all-around shade-tree there is, period. Nothing else comes close. Sad to say also that in many ways, the best days of the urban forest may already be behind us. Just consider this one factoid-the elms towered over nearly all other genera of trees. so in that sense alone, their loss has reduced the average height of our forest. That is a really sad thing right there, in my view.

Regardless, I hope to be abundantly wrong about the apparent futility of coming up with a good, winter-hardy, disease-resistant American elm.

jclarke
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:22 pm

Re: sick elm?

Post by jclarke » Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:40 pm

Yes, it would be nice if they can come back. Still, better to try than give up :)
If it doesn't work, then Ok.

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