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freddyuk

Is this an Elm sapling?

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Think it looks like english elm   have an english elm hedge in the garden

 

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Also busy planting disease resistant ones - it won't look much in my lifetime but should be good for future generations.

Can you buy theese resistant cultivars as whips fancy some but couldn't find any  available  only wych elm?

 


Wych Elm trees (Ulmas Glabra) is a hardy native Elm that can be used as a hedge plant. As a hedge can be clipped which...

 

Makes a nice hedge

Edited by Stere

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First, simple answers to the questions arising.

 

1. However carefully you move and protect an elm sapling, it will still be susceptible to Dutch Elm Disease (DED) but see below.

2. Yes, laying a hedge will reduce susceptibility to DED if you also keep it trimmed - see below.

3. There are some resistant cultivars you can buy in the UK but they are expensive, however see below!

 

The long answer:

 

DED progression is dependent on three things - the presence of the fungus, the elm bark beetle which carries its spores (vector) and the elm. If you have any two from three you don't have a disease problem. No elms and the beetle and fungus die out. No beetle and the fungus cannot infect the trees as it is reliant on the beetle to carry it. No fungus and the beetle is not a problem in its own right. Australia has mature English Elm taken there by the colonists but no fungus so no DED. Not sure if it has the beetle but I presume so. No elms - the beetle can fly up to 2 miles in search of food so if there is more than a 2 mile break in elms then the beetle cannot get across it and elms the other side are not infected. Brighton is reasonably separated which is why the council can keep on top of the infection. This means if you have a single tree in West Cork, separated from all other elms by miles, it might survive a long time. There are some large elms around Marylebone church and on Marylebone High Street - they are completely cut off from other elms by tall buildings so they survive.

 

The fungus is not sentient. It infects and spreads and fruits and dies. It does not originate with Ulmus minor which is why there is so little resistance. The tree does not notice the invading fungus at first, By the time it does, the fungus is down in the trunk, the tree then walls it off and in the process it walls off everything above and the tree dies above ground but because elm can sucker, it often grows back from the roots. If the fungus gets into the roots, the whole tree (and any it has root grafted to) dies.

 

The beetle is sentient. It makes choices - which direction to fly, which elm it prefers etc. The beetle prefers to fly at 6m above the ground. Its purpose is feeding and its preference is to feed at a leaf axil, where the leaf meets the stem. It likes upright shoots as the angle is more convenient for it to stand on. This means that given the choice the beetle will feed on fairly strong young shoots growing upwards at 6m above the ground. If there are trees that meet those criteria then the beetles will feed on these and leave the others alone. That means smaller trees, trees with weeping habit etc will be left longer. The beetle prefers Ulmus minor to Ulmus glabra (Wych elm) so if both are present in the landscape the Wych elm will last longer, but once infected it is just as susceptible and dies. The beetle detects the chemical signature of the elm (essentially smell) to find them. This means if you have species such as Ulmus laevis which lack the chemical signature (don't smell of elm) the beetle does not find them. If you inject them with DED then they die just the same.

 

The above raises the question of what is resistance. There are two types of resistance - field resistance and true resistance. Field resistance means that if you plant a tree in an area where there is DED it won't die, but that could be for many reasons including not being the choice of the beetle. True resistance means that if you inject the tree with DED it will not die. This is not a digital situation. At one extreme, nothing happens, then maybe the leaves adjacent to the injection site die, then the twig, then the branch, then the main branch, then the whole thing. It's all about how far the infection progresses before it gets walled off. English Elm which is a single variety of Ulmus minor (or a micro species if you believe in such things) is particularly low in resistance. In East Anglia there are many naturally occurring varieties, there is a reasonable case for thinking it may be native, and some of them show high levels of field resistance.

 

Several countries, notably The Netherlands, France, Italy and Spain have run breeding programmes for resistant elms. This means if you inject them with DED they do not show any significant damage. These programmes have worked by cross-breeding with elm species of Asian origin which are naturally resistant to DED as they co-exist. This has been successful and there are around 20 varieties available with enough resistance that you can be confident they will survive to maturity. The exception is the Spanish programme. This was the last one to start and they decided they would initiate the programme by selecting native Spanish strains with some natural resistance and breeding Asian genes into them. During the screening phase they surveyed 10,000 trees and (much to their surprise) found seven which had such high natural resistance that they did not need to cross-breed.

 

At present in the UK, some of the Dutch and French varieties are available commercially. Some of the Italian ones were but there was an issue and they were withdrawn and are unlikely to become available again. The Spanish varieties are occasionally available bare-root as whips in winter but post-Brexit this may no longer be possible as they were imported in a container rather than propagated here. There is an intention to propagate in the UK but it is proving very difficult to have the right conversations to secure propagation rights. This is a combination of Brexit and COVID. If it can be done, there are several people ready and waiting to start. All seven varieties are in the UK (there are several people including myself who have all seven) and they can be multiplied fairly fast once this becomes possible.

 

So in summary - if you live a long way from any other elms, you could risk anything. If you keep yours short by laying and trimming then the beetles will prefer something else and probably leave yours alone and if you want to plant new ones, there are some available which will do well if you want a couple of specimen trees, or you will need to wait a few more years for the Spanish ones to become available as whips.

 

Alec

Edited by agg221
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Thanks excellent info shame there no whips around is it also due to the cultivars all being trade marked?

 

Are you allowed to propagate them legally?

 

EDIT see you mention this already soz.

 

Seems a real shame TM stopping it

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Stere

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14 minutes ago, Stere said:

Thanks excellent info shame there no whips around is it also due to the cultivars being trade marked?

 

Are you allowed to propagate them legally?

 

 

 

 

 

Yes it is due to the protection applied to the varieties which is a mix of Plant Breeders' Rights and patents. You can only legally propagate under licence or for research purposes which is why most of the trees available in the UK have been imported.

 

Alec

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One of the most reactive and informative forums I have ever joined. I am much wiser now thank you.

I will ask around amongst the farmers if any other Elms have been spotted as I certainly have not seen any. Hopefully mine is a lucky one off and could survive. Of course it's not for me but the following generations.

For further clarification here is an image of the stem.....

20210702_113806.jpg

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38 minutes ago, freddyuk said:

One of the most reactive and informative forums I have ever joined

Don't worry it is not always so helpful and informative!

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One of the most reactive and informative forums I have ever joined. I am much wiser now thank you.
I will ask around amongst the farmers if any other Elms have been spotted as I certainly have not seen any. Hopefully mine is a lucky one off and could survive. Of course it's not for me but the following generations.
For further clarification here is an image of the stem.....
20210702_113806.thumb.jpg.42f1249b29bc58bf0f3fd13b61685eef.jpg
I found once I'd seen a couple I started seeing loads. My wife made the mistake one day of saying to me there were no elms around because of DED, which is a textbook learning from school biology.

Anyway, took her for a walk just outside the village and she pretty soon told me to shut up about the elms. We live in East Anglia near Huntingdon but I've never been sure how many of the trees I see are Huntingdon Elms.

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One of the most reactive and informative forums I have ever joined. I am much wiser now thank you.
I will ask around amongst the farmers if any other Elms have been spotted as I certainly have not seen any. Hopefully mine is a lucky one off and could survive. Of course it's not for me but the following generations.
For further clarification here is an image of the stem.....
20210702_113806.thumb.jpg.42f1249b29bc58bf0f3fd13b61685eef.jpg

There’s also a wealth of practical assistance on here not limited to trees. Probably because of the price of using dealers makes many get involved in repairs and finding solutions. I’ve found many contributors are also very generous with their time in suggesting where to start.
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1 hour ago, Dan Maynard said:

I found once I'd seen a couple I started seeing loads. My wife made the mistake one day of saying to me there were no elms around because of DED, which is a textbook learning from school biology.

Anyway, took her for a walk just outside the village and she pretty soon told me to shut up about the elms. We live in East Anglia near Huntingdon but I've never been sure how many of the trees I see are Huntingdon Elms.

You don't happen to live near Abbott's Ripton do you? There are a spectacular number of elms around there.


Alec

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You don't happen to live near Abbott's Ripton do you? There are a spectacular number of elms around there.

 

Alec

About 5 miles away, yes. I've been told Lord de Ramsey injects his elms but never really gone looking for them.

 

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