The Conservation Foundation is attempting to unlock the mystery of why some trees survived Dutch elm disease which wiped out over 25 million elms in the UK. David Shreeve, Director of the Foundation, says:
“We want to interest a new generation in the elm, so much a feature of the British life and landscape for centuries and also to try and find out why some trees survived Dutch elm disease. So many have disappeared over recent years that we can only hope to replace some. But rather than just give up and forget the elm, we think it’s worth a try.“
Cuttings taken from mature trees from across the UK that appear to have resisted Dutch elm disease for over 60 years have been micro propagated. The resulting native saplings are being distributed to hundreds of schools, community groups, local authorities and private landowners who have signed up to take part in The Great British Elm Experiment. Orders of up to 10 native elm saplings can be made through Trees Direct – for larger orders please contact the Foundation.