Why are we doing it?
Cuttings taken from mature trees that appear to have resisted Dutch elm disease for over 60 years have been skilfully micro propagated. The resulting saplings are being distributed to hundreds of schools, community groups, local authorities and private landowners who have signed up to take part in The Great British Elm Experiment.
"We want to interest a new generation in the elm, so much a feature of the British life and landscape for centuries and also to try and find out why some trees survived Dutch elm disease. So many have disappeared over recent years that we can only hope to replace some. But rather than just give up and forget the elm, we think it's worth a try." - David Shreeve, Director, The Conservation Foundation
Height, girth, wildlife, signs of disease and other data is being recorded as part of this long-term experiment. It is hoped that in time a new generation of elms will become established throughout the UK and a new generation of young people will be encouraged to value the elms and with it the importance of biodiversity more broadly. The project also heralds hope for wildlife like the White-letter hairstreak butterfly which relies on the habitats elms create.
This exciting project was launched during the UN's International Year of Biodiversity. Partners in the project include MicroPropation Services, Thorpe Trees and Trees Direct.
The Great British Elm Experiment is able to run thanks to the kind support of the following charitable trusts:
How do I take part?
Saplings are free to schools and non-profit organisations, whilst private individuals and businesses can purchase a special sapling at a modest cost. Find out details on receiving a sapling here.
Each small tree is accompanied by a certificate showing its parent tree and variety. Schools will also receive a poster with growing tips and project ideas. You can also download free school activity sheets here.
Please email email@example.com and we'll get back to you with all the details we need for you to take part in the experiment. You can find the details we need for schools/groups at this page.
Ready to buy now? For private orders of up to 10 saplings, please go to Trees Direct. For larger private orders please contact us.