By Cahal Milmo, Chief Reporter
http://www.independent.co.uk/environmen ... 94102.html
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
As Paul King toured the English countryside in the 1980s going about his work as a contractor cutting down trees ravaged by Dutch Elm Disease, he was always struck by two specimens close to his Essex home which in the midst of the countrywide destruction remained untouched by the killer fungus. The pair of elms continued to flourish as the disease largely wiped from the landscape a tree once considered as intrinsically English as the oak and Mr King decided to take cuttings from the two apparently resistant elm specimens to see if he could recreate their success.
Some 23 years later, it seems the nursery owner may have cracked the secret of how to reintroduce to the countryside the species that was immortalised on canvas by John Constable in The Hay Wain. Mr King has produced 2,000 healthy English Elm saplings from the original pair of 200-year-old disease-resistant trees.