Research Review

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Restoring Forest Icons: New Directions in American Chestnut and Elm Research

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Many of the long-term serious pests of trees in North America arrived on plants and logs brought to northeastern entry ports. These include chestnut blight (New York City), Dutch elm disease (DED, Ohio), beech bark disease (Canadian Maritime Provinces), hemlock woolly adelgid (central Virginia), and emerald ash borer (EAB, Michigan). The elimination or reduction of the host tree species has had extensive consequences reverberating throughout the ecosystem, affecting the insects, animals, plants, and nutrient cycles.


Because of their location in the Northeast, scientists of the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Research Station (NRS) are part of a 100-year-long tradition of researchers who have studied these diseases and their host trees. Along with basic and applied research on recent pests (Asian longhorn beetle and emerald ash borer), NRS scientists have begun long-term studies on methods to restore disease-tolerant/resistant varieties of two iconic tree species that have nearly disappeared from forested and rural landscapes—the American chestnut and the American elm. 

View the Autumn 2012 Research Review (1.5 MB PDF)

For more information contact

Jane Hodgins
Public Affairs Specialist
USDA Forest Service - Northern Research Station
1992 Folwell Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108


Last modified: October 22, 2012