Ancient lone elm the Last Ent is ‘guardian’ to new trees

BBC and unknown author

This kind of kool and interesting.

An ancient lone wych elm whose remote Highland location has protected it from Dutch elm disease has been joined by dozens of seedlings for the first time in hundreds of years.

The elm – dubbed the Last Ent of Glen Affric – was Scotland’s Tree of the Year in 2019.

Ents are mythological tree creatures from fantasy writer JRR Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings. They were the forest guardians. If you have been watching and listening carefully you would have heard of the Ent called Treebeard.

Lord of the Rings: 5 Weirdest Things About Treebeard & Ents’ Bodies,, Blake Hawkins.

Just to be careful I am not accused of poaching, I have included the article above where Treebeard is depicted. Feel free to add more information about Ents and Treebeard, etc.

The 35 seedlings (below) were grown at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and are the “offspring” of wych elms that have survived exposure to the disease for decades in the Scottish Borders.

Why is this (again) a big deal? In the US, Elms died out from Dutch Elm disease which was transmitted by beetles. Similar happened to Ash trees in the US. I lost a nice one in front of my house.

This project is part of a joint effort between the gardens and the University of the Highlands and Islands along with landowners such as Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) to save wych elm from vanishing from Scotland.

FLS forester Sam Brown said: “Having lived hidden away, many miles from the closest tree of the same species, the old elm of Glen Affric has escaped the ravages of Dutch Elm disease. “Using surviving, large wych elms in the Scottish Borders, exposed to Dutch elm disease for around 40 years they are breeding a new generation of seedlings they hope has inherited the resilience to disease from both parents.

“The offspring of these rare, promising trees are being planted in carefully selected sites meeting the Elm’s needs and offer a potential for a natural spread.

“This work is assisting the formation of new populations of wild elms that have the genes and the genetic diversity that we hope will enable survival and adaptation in a changing environment.”

And the tree spawning the seedlings?

Hopefully, the authors allow me to use their article and pictures to show how one variety of Elms may be saved.

Ancient lone elm the Last Ent is ‘guardian’ to new trees,