January 29, 1988
Elm Tree Story
In the most recent edition of The General Information, 1988-89 Purdue University Bulletin, Cary's Towers were pictured on the front cover. In the foreground of that picture is an elm tree that is over one hundred years old. It is the last remaining American elm tree on the Purdue campus. It is also the oldest tree on campus. (The oldest tree on Purdue grounds is a Burr Oak out on the intramural fields along S.R. 26 It's between 200 to 300 years old).
The survival of this elm is amazing when you consider between 1944 - 1964, nearly 2,000 American Elms on this campus had to be destroyed because of the dutch elm disease and phloem necrosis. Both diseases affect the vascular system of the trees. As of1964 only six trees had survived. Until this past year, three elms remained; the one at Cary, one at Horticulture Park, and one on Slayter Hill. The trees at Hort Park and Slayter Center were cut down this past year because of disease, making the Cary Elm the only surviving elm on campus.
The information was provided by Pat McDonald of the Grounds Department. He also related that Notre Dame continues to grow American Elms but with extensive spraying. According to Mr. McDonald, Notre Dame spends $3,000 per tree per year to keep them healthy.
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