Kansas State University has a horticulture research center just south of Wichita named the John C. Pair Horticultural Center.  Extensive plant research is done at the center.  In 2007 they established a National Elm Trial with 18 cultivars. All of these are Dutch Elm Disease (DED) Resistant with four being true American elms.  The remainder are either hybrids or other elm species.

Here are results of the trial with notes:

The four true American elms are "Valley Forge", "Princeton", "New Harmony" and "Lewis and Clark" (Prairie Expedition). All have shown excellent tolerance to DED. Characteristics listed below are primarily from our study at the John C. Pair Horticultural Center but storm breakage is from the University of Minnesota.

 

"Valley Forge" Survival: 100 percent

Crown Shape: Vase

Lacebug damage to foliage: Minimal

European elm flea weevil damage: Minimal

Storm Breakage: Fair

Comments: Strong grower, broad spreading

 

"Princeton" Survival: 100 percent

Crown Shape: Vase

Lacebug damage to foliage: Minimal

European elm flea weevil damage: Minimal

Storm Breakage: Fair

Comments: Impressive grower, upright habit, attractive tree

 

"New Harmony"

Survival: 100 percent

Crown Shape: Vase and round

Lacebug damage to foliage: Significant

European elm flea weevil damage: Minimal

Storm Breakage: Not in Minnesota study

Comments: Narrow, upright habit with strong, central axis.

 

 

"Lews and Clark"

(Prairie Expedition)

Survival: 80 percent

Crown Shape: Broad oval Lacebug damage to foliage: Minimal

European elm flea weevil damage: Minimal

Storm Breakage: Good

Comments: Strong grower with broad spreading habit, some wetwood.

 

Storm damage can be minimized by pruning when the tree is young. Maintain a central leader but prune out all lower branches as the tree grows and branches increase in diameter so that there is room to work under the tree. Also prune out branches attached with a narrow angle as these are most likely to give way in ice or wind storms.

— Scott Eckert is a Kansas State Research and Extension Agent for Harvey County. Horticulture is his specialty. The Harvey County Extension Office can be contacted at 284-6930.