Friday 24 April 2015

A to Z Challenge: U is for Ulmus

This month, I’m taking part in the A-Z Blogging Challenge, the annual event where hundreds of bloggers write 26 blogs—one for each letter of the alphabet—and post them each day of April, except Sundays. This year, I’m blogging about: THINGS THAT GROW IN ALBERTA. Don’t forget to check back daily and leave a comment on my blog, Facebook page, Twitter, Tumblr or via email at I’ll randomly pick a few winners who will WIN a SIGNED copy of one of the Chase “Superman Duffy” comics.

Okay, I admit, I’m stretching a bit for my A to Z Challenge “U” post—but it fits! Ulmus is the scientific name for the elm tree—which makes up a good portion of Alberta’s forests! In fact, look at the picture above—I bet you see them all the time!

The Ulmus is a deciduous tree, which means it loses its leaves in winter, but it’s hardy, so it lives year round. It’s also the nesting place for moth and butterfly larvae (caterpillars!) And woodpeckers love them.

Sadly, Ulmus trees are in danger from Dutch Elm Disease, a fungus that grows on the trees, spreads quickly, and is deadly to the tree. Scientists are now looking at cultivating (develop) Ulmus trees that are resistant to the disease—kind of like how scientists through selective breeding have found canola seeds that are resistant to drought or certain pests. Isn’t it cool how science works? I hope they can save the Ulmus, because it’s one of the prettiest trees to grow in this province.

You can learn more about science and biotechnology (and how to write a haiku poem!) in 5-7-5 Errand Boy, the seventh book in the Chase Superman Duffy series. Order it from, or you can WIN a copy by commenting on my post below or on any of my social media links for the rest of the month.

Gotta jet! The A to Z Challenge continues tomorrow—with the letter V!

— Chase Superman Duffy

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