time and trees

There are many reasons why November is a month when I tend to recall my childhood. I wasn’t expecting a new reason this year, but then along came Chalara fraxinea and the spectre of 80 million ash trees being wiped out.

The virulent strain of Dutch Elm Disease which destroyed most of the elms in the UK first arrived at about the time I was born, and one of my most vivid images from early childhood is the loss of the elm trees on our village green in Cambridgeshire. I remember horse chestnut trees (well, who doesn’t?) and, in between, the stumps of elms. Although it took a while for the disease to spread this far north, it continues to do its worst and ‘sanitation felling’ is still used to try to keep it at bay.

So I count myself very lucky that the park across the street from my house…

…has this beautiful old elm tree…

…which is just as gnarly as it properly should be. Elm is still a major part of Dundee’s landscape, though it is in decline from the disease, and there are two elm trees in our wee park — both of which appear to be in good health. Long may they thrive.

time and trees” was posted by Cally on 11 Nov 2012 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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3 Responses

  1. Meg in Nelson
    | Reply

    I know what you mean. I remember the Dutch Elm epidemic in Minnesota in the late 70’s, I think, where avenues and avenues had trees with, I think in yellow paint, condemned to chopping.

  2. Sheila Carey
    | Reply

    In western Canada (the city of Regina comes to mind) many of the elms have been saved by a “bandage” being wrapped around the trunk that prevents the bugs that spread the disease from moving up the trees. Not pretty, but better than losing all those tree lined streets. Your park is gorgeous!

  3. Sandra Rude
    | Reply

    Beautiful trees, and a nice sunny Fall day to enjoy them! Lucky you. The elms are a treasure, and I truly hate to think of the whole race of ash trees suffering a similar fate! I, too, remember the elm slaughter when I was a child.

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