Report surviving elm in the forest

You can help keep native elm trees in the forests of Wisconsin! The US Forest Service continues to work on a project to identify Dutch elm disease (DED)-tolerant American elms native to Wisconsin forests. The goal of the project is to identify and propagate survivor American elms, especially from the colder hardiness zones 3-4, and develop a series of clone banks. Selections would eventually be screened for tolerance to DED. Ultimately, the goal is to make DED-tolerant American elm available for reforestation in northern areas, particularly as a component on sites currently forested by black ash.

If you live in hardiness zones 3 and 4, please look for evidence of surviving elms and report them to the US Forest Service.

This is where you come in. The US Forest Service needs people to report big, healthy American elms, especially from the 3 and 4 hardiness zones. The data needed for a report are the geographical coordinates, tree DBH (diameter at breast height), and contact information which all need to be entered in the survivor elm website. To be eligible, American elms need to be:

  • 22 inches DBH or bigger
  • Located in an area where dead or dying American elms are within about one mile of identified tree
  • Disease-free
  • A forest elm, never having been treated with fungicide to prevent DED; also avoid elms with questionable genetic origin, such as those in urban areas, fence rows, or abandoned pastures

For questions about this project, please contact Joe Vande Hey, DNR Reforestation Team Leader, (608) 574-4904,

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