We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Both the majestic American Elm and the Chestnut fell victim to blights imported from overseas. With their deaths, the New England landscape was altered, for the worse. No more village blacksmith "under the spreading chestnut tree," and no more village greens and churches graced by rows of giant vase-shaped Elms - the hallmark of old New England.
Yes, we still have some elms, but the young ones don't make it to adulthood, and any remaining trees are slowly dying off.
The good news is that there is a blight-resistant Elm available. You won't live long enough to see it in its glory, but planting some now in the right places will be a heck of a fine gift to the future.
All the Elms on my street got sick and were cut down when I was in my early teens. They were magnificent. I didn't appreciate my father assigning me the task of splitting the wood, however, wow that was tough stuff.
I have an ailing pig-nut hickory in the backyard (along with a healthy red-hickory, several white oaks, and a black-birch). When the hickory is gone, I will probably plant a disease resistant elm in its place. I may plant a different resistant strain (there are several) in the woods behind the yard so they can cross-pollinate and spread.
When the disease resistant chestnuts become available, I will have to find a place for one. Or, just ship me a couple hundred nuts and I'll plant them throughout the many state and national forest here in north-west NJ.
Back in 1999, a fellow from North Canaan CT named Tom Zetterstrom and I started ElmWatch, a charitable fund under the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation whose purpose was to preserve and restore the American elm in our communities. We got donors to sponsor the injection of over 100 mature American Elms in the public viewshed with fungicide throughout Berkshire County, northern Litchfield, and adjacent portions of Columbia and Dutchess. Many of those you still see in the Berks are there because of this treatment. We also promoted restoration of the American Elm through making available the best disease- resistant native cultivars, which is why you can get them at Wards and Windy Hill Nurseries, now. Great stuff.
Elm Watch still has a web presence at http://www.elmwatch.org/ if you are interested.