Thanks to decades of vigilance and hard work, Brighton & Hove holds the National Elm Collection – the only significant population of elms surviving in Britain today – and is internationally renowned for its elm disease management programme.
“An elm tree in the Royal Pavilion Garden was discovered to have elm disease. Attempts to save the tree by swiftly pruning out the initial infection have been unsuccessful and the tree has now been felled. Royal Pavilion & Museums (RPM) are closely monitoring other trees and will take any necessary action.
“ Elm disease is a fungus carried by a tiny beetle. For many years Brighton & Hove City Council has funded an internationally recognised control campaign to contain the spread of the disease in the city, primarily by felling elm trees as soon as they become infected. The city also tries to limit the use of elm timber as firewood or in rustic furniture (with the bark attached), as the beetle breeds under the bark of elm timber.
“New highly resistant elms are being developed and planted, and Brighton & Hove’s success and growing elm population have led to it becoming the holder of the National Elm Collection and the last major bastion of the elm in the UK.
“The tree in the Royal Pavilion Garden has probably become infected by beetles breeding on elm logs or furniture (with bark attached) stored nearby. If members of the public have firewood or other timber, or an elm tree that may be dead or dying, which they would like to be checked they can contact the arboricultural team on 01273 292929, or through the council’s website at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/elms for a free inspection.”