Species: English Elm (Ulmus procera)

Family: Elms (ULMACEAE)

Category: Flowering Plants

Location: SE

A. Flowering Plants

More extensive information on flowering plants can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Elms (ULMACEAE)

The asymmetric alternate leaves of the elms are characteristic. Ascomycota sac fungi are responsible for causing Dutch Elm Disease, spread by Elm Bark Beetles. The first sign of infection is usually an upper branch of the tree with leaves starting to wither and yellow in summer, months before the normal autumnal leaf shedding. This progressively spreads to the rest of the tree, with further dieback of branches. Eventually, the roots die, starved of nutrients from the leaves. Often, not all the roots die: the roots of some species, notably the English elm, can repeatedly put up suckers, which flourish for up to 15 years, after which they, too, succumb.

C. English Elm (Ulmus procera)

The March flowers of this native tree, showing as dark pink and red tassels, appear before the leaves. The twisted grain of elm wood means high resistance to splitting, making it ideal for wooden items subject to rough usage, such as chair seats, table tops, staircase treads, floorboards, coffins, wagon wheel hubs and naves, beetle heads, chocks and wedges, garden barrows, partitions in stables, and coffins. It stands immersion in water particularly well, and has been used for pilings and groynes on the coast, water pipes, village pumps, keels of ships, water wheel slats, bobbins on trawl nets, ships' capstan blocks, and 'dead-eyes' and pulley-blocks in ships' rigging.

An infusion of the dried inner bark is a demulcent, astringent, diuretic and antiscorbutic, particularly recommended for cutaneous conditions like ringworm.

Images

English Elm

Dutch Elm Disease is spread by Elm Bark Beetles. The first sign of infection is usually an upper branch of the tree with leaves starting to wither and yellow in summer, months before the normal autumnal leaf shedding.

English Elm

Dutch Elm Disease is spread by Elm Bark Beetles.

English Elm

Dutch Elm Disease is spread by Elm Bark Beetles.

English Elm

In autumn 2022, the Friends of Heene were given two disease-resistant Elms by the Council. Photographed in June 2023 when their protective sheaths were removed, they seemed healthy, if leggy and nibbled by insects.