Working together for the future of Britain’s elm population

One of the aims of The Conservation Foundation’s Great British Elm Projects is to combat the view that ‘Elms have had it!’ It is true that many have been lost due to disease and development, but many still survive – and there could be one near you.

The Conservation Foundation’s roots go back to the Elms Across Europe project launched in 1978.This involved a propagation programme in the UK of a large number of Sapporo Autumn Gold elms, a disease resistant hybrid developed by the University of Wisconsin.These young elms were supplied to schools, local authorities and private gardens.
close up tree green image
Many of these elms survive over thirty years later throughout the country. One of the originals from Wisconsin continues to flourish in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
The Foundation remains committed to our elm projects and to providing a link between many elm enthusiasts. We are most grateful for the help of volunteers while we work to raise funds needed to develop the projects.
Visit the Elm Search map
mobile search tree green
This accessible, public database records the current state of the elm population.
You can log an elm by uploading photographs of the tree (leaves, bark, shape) with its location and as much other information as possible on the Great British Elm Search map. Once logged, there will be a delay while the submission is verified by one of our volunteers.
Please include photos, we cannot verify your submission without them.


Add a tree to the Elm Search map
Great British Elm Experiment
The Foundation took cuttings from healthy mature trees from across the UK that appear to have resisted Dutch elm disease for over 60 years. These were micro propagated and over 3,000 native saplings were distributed to schools, community groups, local authorities and private landowners to take part in The Great British Elm Experiment. NB: It’s not currently possible to update map data.
Visit the Elm Experiment map
“We want to interest a new generation in the elm, so much a feature of the British life and landscape for centuries and try to discover which trees really are resistant to Dutch elm disease.”
David Shreeve, Director
conservation foundation repotting elms elm experiment
Height, girth, wildlife, signs of disease and other data is being recorded as part of this long-term experiment which will, hopefully, lead in time to a new generation of elms to become established throughout the UK and encourage future generations to value elms and their biodiversity. Listen to elms and GBEE being discussed on BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time (25 minutes in).
green elm tree branches
Where can I source elms?
The public planting phase of The Great British Elm Experiment has ended and we are no longer able to supply trees.
Various commercial nurseries can provide elms. Remember, it is very difficult for anyone to guarantee a tree as being ‘disease resistant’.
Would you like to get involved and help our elms?
We are in contact with elm enthusiasts both here and around the world.  We’d be happy to meet more to help network news of resistant elms, new elms and to encourage propagation, new plantings and generally help keep the interest in elms alive for future generations. Currently we are raising funds to allow us to build on almost 40 years as champions of the elm. If you can help, do please get in touch.