Trees: Made for The Shade

Made for The Shade

For centuries, magnificent elm trees graced the streets of American towns and cities, providing shade for all and inspiration for such writers as Eugene O'Neill (Desire Under the Elms). But since the 1930s, Dutch elm disease, spread by a pest called the elm bark beetle, has wiped out more than 100 million of the leafy giants. Now elms may be poised for a welcome return.

That hope springs from at least two major scientific efforts to develop elms more resistant to Dutch elm disease. Within the next two years, the National Arboretum in Washington will distribute to nurseries several new varieties...