Group suggests elm plantings to honor Mayflower anniversary

June 10, 2018 GMT

KEENE, N.H. (AP) — A group that’s helped plant hundreds of thousands of disease-resistant American Liberty elm trees in communities nationwide is encouraging tree memorials at schools in honor of the 400th anniversary of the signing of the Mayflower Compact in 2020.

The Elm Research Institute based in Keene, New Hampshire, has established the Liberty Tree Society to celebrate living tributes to America’s freedom, in schoolyards, on city streets, college campuses, and backyards. The institute says over 1,000 memorials have been dedicated in 42 states.

The institute’s offering trees and plaques commemorating the Mayflower Compact, “America’s First Constitution,” with a list of signers.

In the last century, elms were ravaged by an outbreak of Dutch elm disease. An estimated 100 million elms were destroyed. A disease-resistant elm was developed in 1985.