The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
October 2, 2006

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Elm Tree Planting
North Grounds

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11:59 A.M. EDT

MRS. BUSH: While the President walks over, right before we do the ceremonial shovel, I just wanted to tell you all that we're joined today by our former National Park Director, Fran Mainella and our new National Park Director, who was just confirmed this week. Fran Mainella, here, and I want to thank Fran for your service.

President George W. Bush and Laura Bush take part in the planting of three elm trees on the north grounds of the White House Monday, Oct. 2, 2006. The trees, cultivated by the National Park Service, replace trees recently lost to age, winds and Dutch elm disease. The new trees were grown to be resistant to the disease. White House photo by Eric Draper MS. MANILLA: Thank you. Thank you very much.

MRS. BUSH: And Mary Bomar, who is the New National Park Director.

Obviously, you all know that our garden here is a national park. And the trees that we're planting, this Jefferson Elm that we're replanting here in this spot, were actually developed and found by Dr. James Sherald, and he is a National Park Service employee who has worked for years on plants and disease diagnosis, especially for trees.

And this is called the Jefferson Elm that we're planting because -- tell me if this is right -- because it was found on Jefferson Street. An elm was found that seemed to be disease-resistant; is that right? Do you want to tell them something about it.

DR. SHERALD: Correct, right. The American

Elm has always been a signature species in the National Capital Region of the Park Service, and particularly here at the White House. But we've dealt with Dutch Elm disease here since the early '50s, and we continue to lose trees every year, and we lost an elm here just this past year from Dutch Elm disease.

So we're very privileged today to be able to put in Jefferson elms, which are resistant to Dutch Elm disease. So it's a real honor to be able to have you plant these here.

MRS. BUSH: Thank you so much.

END 12:01 P.M. EDT

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