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August 16, 2007



This was a wonderful post, good doctor. I grew up outside a prominent Elm City (New Haven.... apparently Keene, NH and others stake a claim to the name), and learned to ride a bike pedalling around the old elm in our backyard. It was not a simple thing, with roots surfacing like crocodiles. I don't know if that elm still lives. I hope it does. I know I can ride a bike with the best of them.


Hi Dr M

I live in England, which is similarly de-elmed. I'm not old enough to remember the elms but when I read about how they used to dominate the landscape I feel a physical pain in the chest with the loss.

One of the nearest pubs to me is called 'The Elm Shades' and I can't enjoy a drink there as I mourn the loss of shade I never experienced.

However, there is a large virus-immune elm tree in a park near me (a cross between the English Elm and a Dutch variety). There is a healthy population of mature English Elm trees in Brighton, Sussex. I am optimistic that one day the elms will make a recovery. If they can cope with climate change, that is.

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