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updated: 8/18/2014 8:36 AM

Illinois officials assess centuries-old elm tree

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Associated Press

QUINCY-- Western Illinois officials say a centuries-old tree might not been infected with Dutch elm disease based on preliminary tests.

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The Quincy Herald-Whig reports one of Quincy's few American elm trees that survived a 1970s blight might now be in shock after two summers of drought and a particularly harsh winter.

The Quincy Tree Commission is working with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Morton Arboretum in Lisle to evaluate its condition. The DNR estimates the tree is 253-390 years old based on factors including trunk diameter and height.

Most of the tree appears to be dead. Officials say it could still recover next spring or summer.

The commission chairman says agencies are interested in studying such trees to see how they survived outbreaks like Dutch elm disease.

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