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Mayor James J. Fiorentini
Wishes To Bring Back Elm Trees To The City Of Haverhill* - March 19, 2004
City of Haverhill Massachusetts

There was a time when Elm trees lined streets in every major city in America. George Washington planted Elm trees. Elm trees were known in America for their majestic beauty and for the amount of shade they provide.

Beginning in 1950 most Elm trees in America were wiped out because of the disease known as "Dutch Elm disease."

For many years, Congress struggled to find a disease-resistant Elm tree. Their efforts were largely unsuccessful until approximately three years ago when a largely obscure Federal agency known as the National Arboretum discovered, almost by accident, what appears to be a disease-resistant Elm tree.

Haverhill. Massachusetts Mayor James J. Fiorentini
Haverhill, MA Mayor
James J. Fiorentini

A research scientist who spent the last 25 years of his life attempting to find a disease-resistant Elm did the research at the National Arboretum. That arborist name is Denny Townsend.

In honor of Arbor Day in Haverhill, Mayor Fiorentini would like to bring back Elm trees to the city.

Fiorentini said that the Brightside program in Haverhill and the Highway Department for the City of Haverhill are working together to establish a tree-planting program in Haverhill that for the first time in decades will bring Elm trees to the city.

"The return of the American Elm is a triumph of the human spirit. Bringing at least a few Elm trees back to the city of Haverhill would be symbolic of our own return, as a great and vibrant city," Fiorentini commented.

Fiorentini indicated that he had also written to the National Arboretum to find how to get in contact with arborist Denny Thompson.

*Source: City of Haverhill, Massachusetts Web Site: www.ci.haverhill.ma.us 3-19-04

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