Planted in Commemoration

Arboricultural Association

Annual Conference September 2016

It has long been the custom for the Arboricultural Association to donate at Annual Conference a tree to mark the occasion.

This year, we are pleased to donate a disease-resistant Elm Ulmus x 'Vada' ['Wanoux'] which has been planted by Cherry Tree Walk.

Many attempts have been made over the years to produce disease-resistant Elms; unfortunately, most of these failed in the face of the virulent strains of the disease that arose in the 1970s. A few successful trees were bred but these are in the main small twiggy trees, lacking the substance and presence of our native species. In 2000, Dutch research produced a series of trees based on the breeding of the most resistant European Elms Ulmus minor with the Himalayan Elm Ulmus wallichiana. Himalayan Elm is extremely similar in appearance, and genetically, to the European Wych Elm Ulmus glabra, and is fortunately very resistant to disease.

Two clones released commercially in 2002 have proved to be very successful in France and they were imported and trialled in the Isle of Wight, where they were evaluated by Butterfly Conservation and described as being an "unqualified success".

The two clones are 'Lutèce' and the tree planted today, 'Vada'. Genetically, both have the ability to gro to the size of the old European Elms. They are fast growing, with large leaves and, most importantly, have the appearance and jizz of the great trees of memory. In addition, these trees are wind-resistant and will withstand flooding.

Henry Girling
September 2016