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Dutch Elm Disease

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL17354, tabled on 22 July 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to develop a strain of English elm which is resistant to Dutch elm disease; and what success they have had.

Answered on

31 July 2019

English Elm (a form of Ulmus minor) is not a native tree and was likely introduced to Britain from Italy by the Romans. The most successful breeding programmes for resistant elms currently operate in Italy, Spain and North America. Resistant elm cultivars have been available for some time, including a series of cultivars of U. minor produced by the Spanish elm breeding programme which show high resistance to Dutch elm disease. Trials of resistant elms in the UK were initiated in Hampshire in 2000. The most recent report from these trials was produced by Butterfly Conservation this year.