Q: I’d like to grow a ‘Jefferson’ American elm to replace a poplar tree in the front yard. Any thoughts?
A: It’s rare to see a healthy American elm anymore. Most have succunbed to Dutch elm disease, transmitted by bark borers. Breeders have developed several elms that resist the disease. ‘Jefferson’ may be hard to find due to propagation difficulties. ‘Valley Forge’ was released by the National Arboretum in 1995 after it was found to be very tolerant of Dutch elm disease. Although it will exhibit occasional leaf wilting after infection, the tree seems to recover with good vigor afterwards.