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Author Topic: Dutch Elm Disease
Ken Hume
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Post Dutch Elm Disease
on: February 27, 2014, 14:30
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It is unlikely that anyone in the South of England who is not over 50 years of age will remember what a mature elm tree looks like since these mostly died out and were felled shortly thereafter in the early 1970's.

It took some 30 years for this disease to spread across the country eventually reaching northern climes by June 2006 when I visited The Mains of Linton in Aberdeenshire, Scotland and took these pictures of the last of the summer wine. It is likely that these are Wytch Elms which are a little different from English Elms in their growing habit in that they sprout from seed rather than grow from root suckers as does English Elm and so don't all tend to die out at the same time. This effect can be seen today in The Chilterns where Wytch Elm continues to grow (and die) exhibiting the same tendancy to sprout from the base of the tree.

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An almost complete live elm stands majestically awaiting a certain fate as it's neighbours start to secumb to a tylotic death.

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Further down the hedgerow the disease is more advanced and echos of the landscape that was seen in the south of England 30 years earlier is now quite evident.

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A large elm tree stands dead with only epicormic growth showing around the base of both this and the other adjacent trees.

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When felled the definition of elm heart and sapwood is clear together with the tylotic staining due to blockage of sapwood transmission cells .

Those persons seeking to access an extensive set of pre Dutch Elm disease pictures of elm trees growing in The Vale of The White Horse, Olde Berkshire & Wiltshire can do no better than making an appointment to visit the photo archive of The Pendon Model Railway Museum in Long Wittenham, South Oxfordshire where photos taken by Roye England the museum founder over the period 1925 - 55 can be seen.

Ken Hume

Ken Hume
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Posts: 418
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Post Re: Dutch Elm Disease
on: May 18, 2016, 17:29
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Following on from the above thread I chanced upon a collection of elm planks in stick that were cut from pre 1970's Dutch Elm disease affected trees.

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These planks are slowly being used to make Windsor chair seat squabs by the bodging fraternity.

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The boards are 3 ft 3 ins wide with one good straight edge and so the tree trunks were even bigger ! It was possible to count 100 years growth by eye without much difficulty however the next 20 years or so were quite tight and hence subject to recount.

These boards could potentially provide a 100 year growth rate chronology for elm dendro dating puposes.

Ken Hume

Ken Hume
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Posts: 418
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Post Re: Dutch Elm Disease
on: May 18, 2016, 18:30
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English Elm has a notoriously wild grain -

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- and extremely fast growth rate with some early annual rings averaging 5/8 ins.

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Ken Hume

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