The Camperdown elm

Collage Campertown elm

We discovered this amazing elm tree recently when we explored the little town of Port Gamble not far from the Hood Canal Bridge. I was pleased that winter had stripped away the leaves that would hide the amazing twists and turns of the tree’s branches. It looks like something imagined in a Harry Potter book. Here’s what a nearby sign says about the Camperdown elm:

State Champion Camperdown Elm
It was in 1840 that the “Earl of Camperdown” in Dundee Scotland noticed a branch growing on the floor of his elm forest. He grafted it to a Scotch Elm tree and it took hold producing the first Camperdown Elm. The Scotch Elm is the only root mass the Camperdown Elm will grown on. The tree is a mutant and cannot self produce. Every Camperdown Elm tree in the world is part of the original and they must be grafted to a Scotch Elm tree to get started. When the graft starts to grow, the Scotch Elm branches are cut off leaving only Camperdown Elm. This magnificent tree depends on humankind to keep it alive as a species…This tree was planted in 1875. It measures 20 ft. in height with a 26 ft. crown and a 7 ft. circumference.

A rain squall prevented my taking more detailed shots (and it deposited a big drop in the middle of my lens). I’d like to visit this tree again from time to time and see it in other seasons.

7 thoughts on “The Camperdown elm”

  1. Incredible. Never heard of this tree. Reminds me a bit of a tree we have in our front yard – the name of which I now forget. It sure is a tangle! 🙂

  2. Most unusual, and thanks for reseaching the background for us. I’m very interesting in seeing what it looks like in the different seasons.

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