Conservation Foundation project wins funding to preserve London's elm trees

A new campaign could bring back elms to London, with a complete survey of London's elm tree population about to get underway, thanks to a grant of almost £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Conservation Foundation will look at the role elm trees have played in the capital's history as well as providing new trees.

The project will create a comprehensive guide to where surviving elms are located within the M25 and will also include plans to plant at least 1,000 elm saplings, including one in every street that has "elm" in its name.

Trees in the Great British Elm Experiment are being micropropagated by Micropropagation Services of Loughborough and then grown on by Martin Day at Mill House Nursery, Houghton Conquest, Bedfordshire, and Alba Trees of Gladsmuir, East Lothian. Alba and Trees Direct of Shropshire are also handling the despatch of the elms in the experiment.

A Conservation Foundation representative explained: "They have been propagated from elms growing in a variety of locations around the country that are at least 60 years old and appear to have resisted disease. We cannot claim our elms will be resistant and that is why the London plantings will be part of the experiment."

He added: "None will have been propagated from 'parents' in London, but we may well do this if some trees are considered to be suitable. The tree planting will involve only streets with 'elm' in their name and it will not take place until 2012."

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