The Elm Tree was brought back from China by one of Grahams ancestors and has probably been in the Cossington garden for about 200 years.
Grahams father used to tell a story that in the early 19th century, Kew Gardens announced that it had acquired the first one in the country – at least 100 years after ours. But he has not been able to prove any of this.
The author of “Great British Trees” once came to Cossington to inspect it, and it baffled him. He said he knew an elm specialist but unfortunately never managed to get him to come to Cossington. Our former gardener, Claire, once sent photos of the Elm Tree to Kew Gardens and they responded with the below report:
“Our Botanist says the photographs provided for identification appears to be a medium-sized, deciduous tree native to the far east. It is related to the elms but differs in its fruits.
This rare tree grows best in slightly acid, moist soils and may give a bronze or red autumn colour. In Japan, it grows to be a large tree and is important there for its high-class timber which is used for most furniture.”
The leaf of this Rare Chinese Elm Tree is also the basis of the Cossington Park logo.