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Save The Elms Training Success Story!

May 26, 2016

On Saturday, May 21 I was reminded as I watched volunteers examine a particularly large, umbrella-like, American elm on 24th Street as to why we want to preserve these trees in the first place. They are beautiful! Of course, beyond their beauty, these gentle giants provide many benefits to our community – energy savings through shade, clean air, assistance with storm water reduction, and a wonderful sense of identity for Sacramento.

Our first Citizen Scientist training class for the revitalized Save the Elms Program was a success – 25 new volunteers are prepared to be the eyes for the City of Sacramento and the Tree Foundation, looking for early symptoms of Dutch elm disease (DED) using the handy GreenprintMaps tool. We covered English and American elm identification – the two most commonly DED-infected species in our region – and what symptoms of DED look like. Showing her dedication to Sacramento's canopy, one volunteer who attended Saturday’s class, was also a STEP monitor back in the 1990s as well. Welcome back Nita!

Time for some good news, in less than one week, more than 30 elm trees have already been monitored. Additionally, at least one of the elms that was marked as needing further follow up has been examined by a City of Sacramento arborist and looks to be DED-free at this point! This is exactly how we want the program to work, great job Citizen Scientists.

Taking time to walk and monitor some elms is a good excuse to stop and enjoy them, instead of just running, biking, or driving by. They are wonderful specimens and an iconic Sacramento tree! Not only are you helping spot early signs of this disease to protect other trees, but you are taking a moment in nature, which benefits your own mental and physical health.

If you live in Sacramento, there could be a number of public elm trees in your neighborhood. Take a look at the map! Please consider volunteering as a STEP Citizen Scientist. It's easy! It's fun! All we ask is that volunteers simply attend one of our trainings and commit to visually monitoring elm trees three times between now and September. To sweeten the deal, we'll give you a super cool t-shirt (to show your elm pride) and an invitation to a party at the end of the season.

Upcoming trainings:

Learn more at sactree.com/step, or register for a training at sactree.com/events. Thanks to all of our STEP Citizen Scientists for your time and dedication to our goal of preserving and enjoying Sacramento’s elms as long as we can.

Thank  you!


Photo of Pam