Have you seen the elms of East Hampton? The Cultural Landscape Foundation has, and it's included them in its 2010 list of the 12 most extradorinary trees in the country and Puerto Rico.
The trees on the list, many of which are endangered, also include a 2-century-old tulip poplar in Washington, D.C., and 4,000 cherry trees in New Jersey's Essex County Branch Brook Park. Also honored were Rio Piedras ficuses in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The East Hampton elms have a long history, as does their endangerment: "In 1938, East Hampton’s elms faced their first major threat. A fast moving hurricane decimated more than a third of the older elms and subsequent flooding damaged many of the recent plantings," according to the CLF report.
And that was just the beginning: In 1978, the Dutch Elm Disease fungus ravaged 69 of the town's closely planted trees (and another 13 on private property), altering the town's landscape. But today, they persevere.
The trees were selected because "they stand as living reminders of our country's past and have the potential to witness future generations."
You can learn more about them by reading the Cultural Landscape Foundation's Landslide 2010: Every Tree Tells a Story package.