Peter Shallcross reports: 'The imported hybrids and Field Elms that formed the bulk of the 550 distributed last winter are unavailable this year. Instead White Elm Ulmus laevis is flavour of the month. This is a native to France and Spain and north to Finland, inhabiting river valleys. Its resistance is due to the presence of antifeedant triterpene alnulin which is different from the resistance in most other resistant elms.
'I have obtained 100 whips grown from seed by a nursery in Gloucestershire. These are going to the Wylye Farmers cluster group and are going to be planted strategically throughout the valley to be of most benefit to the White-letter Hairstreak butterfly.
'Having exhausted this supply I am going to import white elms from Holland for the new Nadder and Sem farmer cluster group. My longer term vision is to use micro- propagated tissue from plants imported last year to obtain much larger quantities and sell to some of the other 100 farmer groups.'
Photo: Barn owl
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