The Belgian Elm Ulmus × hollandica 'Belgica
' became hugely popular throughout Belgium
and the Netherlands
in the 19th century .
The tree has a broad crown supported by a straight, rough-barked stem. Unusually thriving on poor sandy soils, it proved one of the fastest-growing elms in Europe, typically achieving heights of up to 40m. The large obovate to elliptic leaves are < 12 cm long by 5 cm wide, and terminate at the apex as a long, serrated point.
Pests and diseases
Very susceptible to Dutch elm disease
, it was the loss of this particular elm, more than any other, to the earlier strain of the disease which prompted the inauguration of the Dutch elm breeding programme in 1928 . 'Belgica' is also very vulnerable to verticillium wilt
Reputedly raised in the nurseries of the Abbey of the Dunes
(Abdij Ten Duinen
, (later removed to Bruges
) in the 18th century, it was planted in great numbers along roads, and also in parks and gardens . The UK champion tree was located at North Inch
, (34 m high, 100 cm d.b.h.
in 1987) but it is not known whether it survives.
- Ulmus batavina: Koch, Dendr. 2 (1): 414 1872).
- Ulmus belgica: Weston, Fl. Angl. 46. 1775.
- Ulmus campestris (: minor) bataviana: Simon-Louis, (Metz, France, Catalogue, 1869.
- Ulmus montana (: glabra) var. belgica
- Ulmus × hollandica var. belgica