small elm tree

a young elm tree,
around ten years.

Trees of London
St Paul's

English Elm

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              Fully grown English Elms do not exist in London or in much of Britain, because of the devastation caused by the spread of Dutch Elm disease in the 1970s. Before that time, this tree was as common as any other tree in Britain, and it appears in many paintings by Constable. Hope is not lost for the re-emergence of this tree because it is thought that about four thousand years ago it was almost wiped out, also by Dutch Elm disease, and it recovered. However, this is not likely to happen in our life time. If you want to see a fully grown one, the best place to find them is in Sussex where they survived and in particular, Brighton.

              Take a close look at the leaves. You will see that the veins do not meet in the middle and that there is a slight asymmetry about the whole leaf, particularly where it meets the stalk, where one side is fatter than the other. This is true for all elms and is the best way of identifying them. They also have a unique nut.


elm leaves

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Other Trees at St Paul's

beech      lime     alder

walnut     strawberry

St Paul's










Tree Identification

ulmus procera:

Leaf:
alternate; veins: alternate; asymetrical, one side usually bigger than other particularly at the base; toothed margin.

Elm leaf
nuts/fruit:

flat, light, translucent, seed can be seen within; arrnaged in clusters.

Flowers:
not conspicuous.

hang in very small clusters; March-April.
bark:
brown with horizontal and vertical ridges.
shape: grows to 30 metres tall, relatively thin.
general: species devastated by Dutch elm disease; very few in London.

Location
To the north of the cathedral, oustide the churchyard,
but still in the pedestrian part,
beside a strange modern hexagonal building,
there are three small ones.
Marked in red on map.

Trees of London        A James Wilkinson Publication ©