Scientists & Staff

Jim Slavicek

Notes: This person is no longer an employee of the Northern Research Station.

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National Research Highlights


Forest Service scientists develop a cold-hardy American elm tree

Year: 2017

Dutch elm disease largely eradicated mature elm trees from the eastern U.S. in the 1900s. Forest Service scientists are working to create site-adapted Dutch elm disease tolerant elm trees capable of tolerating the cold winters of the Chippewa National Forest in northern Minnesota.

1: Two American elm trees tree on left healthy with dark green foliage while tree on right is diseased and exhibiting light yellow foliage.  
2: Variability in American elm leaf color associated with infection by Candidatus. Phytoplasma trifolii  with leaves on left collected from an infected tree while leaves on right were collected from a healthy tree.

Identification of a clover proliferation group phytoplasma as the probable cause of American elm Ttee mortality

Year: 2017

Forest Service scientists observed premature canopy decline symptoms in elm trees within their research plantations in midsummer 2016. They attributed canopy decline symptoms to a phytoplasma in the clover proliferation group previously not reported to impact forest trees. Mitigation approaches are currently being undertaken.

Photo (1) USDA employee inoculating an American elm tree with the Dutch elm disease fungal pathogens. 
Photo (2) Healthy American elm tree (left) and a tree that has succumb to DED (right).

Forest Service moves American elm tree a big step closer to landscape restoration

Year: 2017

Over the past several decades, mature American elm trees have virtually disappeared from city streets and eastern forests as a result of Dutch elm disease. Forest Service scientists are on the cusp of developing sufficient genotypes to successfully restore new selections of American elm back to the landscape. Dutch elm disease inoculation trials initiated in Ohio in June 2016 yielded American elm cultivars that exhibit low levels of Dutch elm disease-induced decline one year later.

American elm cuttings growing in the greenhouse. Kathleen Knight, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Elm Disease Resistance Research Gets a Boost

Year: 2016

Great news for disease-tolerant American elm! A grant from The Manton Foundation has provided the Forest Service’s Northern Research Station with an opportunity to accelerate American elm research in collaboration with Nature Conservancy.

Expansion of the American Elm Restoration Project in New England in Collaboration With The Nature Conservancy

Year: 2010

The American elm in hardwood forests and riparian ecosystems has been greatly reduced or eliminated by Dutch elm disease (DED) and has not been replaced as the dominant overstory hardwood tree. NRS scientist James Slavicek, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), has recently established (June 2010) three sites for American elm restoration on TNC lands.

Last modified: Sunday, February 5, 2023