After the ravages of Dutch elm Disease in the 1960’s, Elms seem to be staging a recovery, some growing into substantial trees as above. They may still succumb to a re-emergence of the disease but are growing in several areas in the vale.
The bark still shows pale brown ridges of a tree yet to mature.
This subspecies was susceptible to DED because they are mostly genetically identical and seldom spread by seed. They spread by suckers into scrubby clumps.
A comparison of leaves shows the size difference between species and varieties.
Ulmus minor var minor has a marked asymmetric leaf base with a narrow taper on the short side. Smooth – leaved elm is found in parks and hedgerows being more resistant to DED since it does reproduce from seed. Sometimes called ‘A phoenix from the Ashes’, the leaves are smooth and glossy.
Wych Elm is common throughout the Dene and thought to be a native. Most are rather scrubby but some are growing into modest trees.
Collins Tree Guide 2006