It used to be that elm trees used to line most streets in small town America including towns where Laura lived like De Smet and Walnut Grove. In the early 1930s, a fungal infection carried by beetles introduced into the United States from France. It’s called Dutch Elm Disease or D.E.D. It ultimately wiped out 95 percent of American elms. Many people long to return to the time when many American streets were named for the beautiful Elm trees that created a living cathedral over them. Now two resistant varities have become popular. Ulmus americana “Valley Forge” elm was breed specifically to be highly resistant to the blight. It’s named for the small American army who overcame massive odds to victory. Ulmus americana “Princeton” was an old American cultivar that proved highly resistant. It was first sold in 1922. Please consider planting one of these cultivators soon.
Facts taken from:
Wehde, Dave. “Bring Back the American Elm.” The Conservation Connection. 10.3 Fall 2010: 3.
UPDATED September 12 2017: I added my signature block.
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.