I never had an elm tree. As a little girl, my wife had five large elms in her back yard in West Haven, CT. All were lost to Dutch elm disease in the 1950s, so I never saw them. I know elm trees are very tall and graceful, making them choice shade trees. I know that what killed most of them was a fungus carried by the Dutch elm bark beetle. Once under the bark the fungus grew in the tiny vessels carrying water and nutrients to the tree, clogging them and slowly “suffocating” the tree. DDT was used to control the beetle but was found to contaminate the surrounding environment, killing other species as well, so it was banned in the 1970s. On the positive side, I know that a few elms were genetically resistant to the fungus and survived. Today one can obtain a resistant elm from a nursery which maintains them. If interested, you can find one online. If I had a big house with a big yard I'd look into getting one. I wrote the following poem a few years ago as my own ode to those elms which were lost.
DUTCH ELM DISEASE
My vessels clogged by fungus foul
My leaves like tears I shed
For once you've got Dutch elm disease
You may as well be dead