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Watching beloved trees wither and die

Bark deterioration is a sign of a dying tree. Photo by Tim Abbott

My grandfather’s generation lost the American chestnut to an exotic fungus that reduced this once mighty forest giant to old roots and hopeful shoots. 

My parents saw the American elms that used to shade our streets in broad allées felled by the one-two punch of Dutch elm disease and the elm bark beetles that helped to spread it. I am watching the next great killer of trees advancing through the woodlands today, and now that I know what I am seeing, I find it everywhere I go.

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