12 January 2016

Trees of Hove

Judy Middleton  (2002 revised 2015)

copyright © J.Middleton
This Edwardian postcard on the left shows leafy St Ann’s Well Gardens with the Well House in the background.
Note the elaborate perambulator on the right. The postcard on the right shows the old entrance to St Ann’s Well
Gardens was through the gates in Furze Hill. The family who occupied the cottage can just be seen on the right.
Hove was once notorious for being a treeless spot and indeed Richard Jefferies maintained it was one of the chief virtues of the place. The only natural woodland in Hove was at the Wick (later called St Ann’s Well Gardens and purchased by Hove Council in 1908) and Three Cornered Copse (purchased by Hove Council in the 1930s). In fact it was local joke that all the trees at Hove grew in one spot – St Ann’s Well Gardens. According to farmer William Marsh Rigden, there were not too many hedges either, which left crops and animals at the mercy of westerly gales.

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This view of Brunswick Square Gardens was photographed in May 2010.
When Brunswick Square was laid out, the beach in those days was long and sloping and thus the sea was further away than it is today. This meant that originally the square was well planted with trees whereas today trees only really flourish on the western side in the lee of the buildings.

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It is interesting to see just how many trees there used to be in the Palmeira Square area. The horse and
carriages to be seen on the north side belonged to the hackney carriage stand located there.
The Brunswick Square Gardens were for the exclusive enjoyment of residents living in Brunswick Square and Brunswick Terrace and iron railings surrounding the area ensured privacy. The same rules applied to the gardens in Adelaide Crescent and Palmeira Square and the old postcard view shows the north part was well furnished with trees. Public access to all these areas only became possible after World War II but became inevitable when all the railings were removed during a wartime scrap campaign.
One reason that Hove is such a rich repository of elm trees is because they are best at resisting a seaside environment. There are many beautiful elm trees along New Church Road but the leaves can be blackened on the south side by salt spray in a bad gale or suffer wind burn.

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In this postcard of Sackville Road, stakes or tree guards support the young trees.  The tree guards tended to be more expensive to buy than the trees.
When Hove began to expand in the 1880s, it became council policy to plant trees in the main streets and private developers would do the same. At first it seems that trees were actually planted in the road but in February 1880, for instance, the surveyor was instructed to remove them and place them at the side of the pavement instead.  

In November 1880 Hove Commissioners were recommended to purchase 100 trees for planting in public streets at a cost not exceeding 2/- each plus trees guards not exceeding 10/- each.

In 1882 it was decided to expend £40 on planting trees in St Aubyns. The trees at the north end are still a magnificent sight today as can be seen from the photographs. (In the autumn of 2012 they were pruned back to a considerable extent).

The Hove Courier (8th April 1882) wrote about the ‘four noble mansions’ on either side of The Drive, north of Eaton Road, recently erected. The gardens ‘have been prettily laid out with plants and shrubs, and the trees on either side of the path just budding out, gives a pleasing aspect to this part of the spacious road, the whole estate from Wilbury Road to Cromwell Road in fact being greatly improved by the laying out of the roads with trees, protected with tree guards’.

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The Drive photographed in 1907 looks twice as wide as it does today because there are no lines of parked cars to clutter up the scene. Note the young trees on either side.
In October 1890 the surveyor wanted to plant six trees in Clarendon Villas to fill up the long gaps between trees and to substitute new elm trees for inferior or deformed trees in The Drive, Wilbury Road, Eaton Road, Eaton Gardens and Cromwell Road – around 90 trees altogether. The cost was put at £50. He also suggested new planting in Cambridge Road and on the east side of Sackville Road between Church Road and Clarendon Road.
The number of dead trees in the town seemed quite high – in 1891 there were 60 and the following year there were 116. Although there are always going to be some young trees that die quickly, it may have been due to the wrong sort of trees for the location being chosen. At any rate in November 1891 the surveyor recommended that any new trees planted should be Chichester elms. But still the toll of trees continued. In 1893 there were 25 dead ones, in 1895 there were 50 dead or damaged ones, in 1897 the figure was 45 and in 1903 it was 43. It also seems that the planting of new trees was taken up with such enthusiasm that many were planted too close together with the result some had to be removed at a later date. This can be demonstrated in the postcard view of All Saints Church where the trees seem remarkably close together.
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Edwardian postcard of  All Saints, the trees on the south side of Eaton Road look as though they have been planted
very close together. In the second view of All Saints in 2009, some of those trees are still there.
In August 1896 there was a decision to plant 41 trees in Second Avenue at a cost of £16 while in October 1912 it was decided to plant new trees in Connaught Road, Westbourne Street (south of Portland Road) and Cromwell Road (between Holland Road and Lorna Road) at an estimated cost of £56. In October 1913 trees were planned for Holland Road (between Lansdowne Road and Davigdor Road) at £45 and in Fonthill Road (between the railway bridge and Newtown Road) for £5.

By 1916 there were a number of poplars in Lorna Road with 23 on the north side and 30 on the south. Residents were not happy with them because in spring they released clouds of pollen and sticky flowers. They were around 32 feet high and twelve residents petitioned for their removal. But Hove Council opted for pruning and asked the West Brighton Estate to take out alternate trees on the south side.

Also in 1916 it was noted that Pembroke Crescent had 130 trees – 60 elms, 32 sycamores, 14 poplars, 14 horse chestnuts, 10 limes and some others.

In 1926 the works committee approved the expenditure of £20 on planting trees in Olive Road between Portland Road and the railway bridge, and £11 to plant trees on the west side of Vallance Road. In 1928 Chanctonbury Road had eighteen trees spaced around 6 yards apart on the east side but none on the west side. Nine trees were to be planted on the west and every other tree removed on the east.

It is obvious the debt we owe to the Victorians and Edwardians for their tree-planting policies. After World War I there were so many other matters to be concerned about that trees rather dropped over the horizon, as it were, and it is surprising to note this situation lasted for some 50 years.

Today, great care is taken with the planting of street trees, both in choosing the species and opting for more mature trees. However, for a major scheme of tree-planting or bush-planting, for example at the north side of Easthill Park and at an area in Mile Oak, there is a different approach. Many young specimens, known as whips, are planted at the same time with the expectation that there will be several casualties.
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In 2003 two buskers were photographed in George Street with a somewhat fragile-looking young tree on their left.
The second view of George Street dates from 2009 and the tree near Bert’s is no longer there.
George Street is a different case altogether. Historically, there were never any trees in the street because it was comparatively narrow with continuous terracing of traditional two-up and two-down houses for the workers. Today, George Street is one of Hove’s main shopping streets and cars are banned during certain hours. The authorities decided that some trees would improve the ambience and give it a more Mediterranean aspect, especially since the proliferation of sitting-out areas with chairs and tables associated with the many bars, cafes and coffee shops. The trouble was which species should be chosen? You could not have a tall-growing tree such as elm or sycamore in such a restricted space. Some smaller more exotic species were planted but died when overcome by a sticky-type virus. Then a few cordyline-type trees were planted with one on the west side near the south end and two on the east side but the two on the east side only lasted a few years before the authorities decided they were not quite right and they were taken down on 26th October 2012. Now it appears that olive trees are the preferred option.

Churchyards
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St Leonard’s Churchyard was photographed on a day of brilliant sunshine on 1st June 2009
Churchyards can be something of a little nature reserve. This view of St Leonard’s Churchyard was taken in June 2008 when there was a spectacular display of ox-eye daisies; these together with a splendid backdrop of trees could make you think you were deep in a country churchyard. The trees are in the grounds of neighbouring Church House, the nerve centre for the Diocese of Chichester. The trees have since been pruned back. On the other side of Church House there used to be some mature horse chestnut trees, two producing pink flowers in spring and the other white flowers.

The churchyard around St Andrew’s Old Church, Hove was once a typical Victorian burial ground with grandiose monuments, trailing ivy and a good stand of trees with a resident owl. Unfortunately, in the 1970s it was decided to build a new school on the site and a great deal of the north part was flattened to accommodate the building and a playing field. The many beautiful headstones and statues were broken up and removed.

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This photograph is of the west side of St Andrew’s 
Churchyard with the Westphal monument in the
 foreground and old trees in the background.
 It gives you some idea of how the destroyed north
part of the churchyard must once have looked. 
Hove Recreation Ground

Hove Recreation Ground was the first public open space in Hove and the land was purchased specifically with children in mind. The Hove Commissioners had been through a difficult time trying to find suitable land at a price they could afford and had considered thirteen different sites. This land belonged to the Stanford Estate and fortunately in 1886 Mr Benett-Stanford of Preston Manor offered Hove Commissioners 20 acres at a reduced price because the space was to be used as a recreation ground. It was a generous offer, at £450 an acre, when an adjacent plot had sold for £1,000 an acre to be used for building purposes. The Commissioners also had to pay compensation to John Jackson Clark, tenant, who had been running a market garden there.  
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These two photographs of Hove Recreation Ground shows the same view of the south walk with
some of the same trees – the first one dates from 1908 and the second one was taken in 2011.
Although the ground was cleared and seeded for grass so that cricket and football might be played, there was also a need for trees. The Marquess of Abergavenny donated a truckload of trees and shrubs consisting of 40 chestnut trees, 200 Scotch firs and 500 rhododendrons. The chestnut trees were planted on the north and east sides and the rhododendrons were placed on the north slope of a bank opposite the entrance. The Scotch firs were massed together in a sheltered place at the north-west corner.
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This photograph taken in April 2009 indicates the variety of trees and shrubs to be found in Hove Recreation Ground. 
Hove Recreation Ground was formally opened on 2nd May 1891. In February 1893 it was decide to plant a row of trees, around 30 feet apart, on each side of the south walk at an estimated cost of £10. The postcard view of 1908 shows them as young trees while the modern photograph taken in 2011 reveals a virtually unaltered scene. 

The Sussex Tree Book mentions some rare elm trees at Hove Recreation Ground including a Coritanian elm and a Cornish elm. Other interesting specimens are Golden Wych elm (two varieties) Belgian elm and a Strawberry tree at the south-east corner. Belts of elm trees, some of them unusual too, surround the ground.

Hove Park

Hove Park was the next public open space to be purchased. This land also belonged to the Stanford Estate and the agreement was signed on 30th October 1899. It was not a unanimous decision on the part of the councillors and there were many grumbles about the frightful expense involved. The landscape photographed in the old postcard looks bleak indeed but in fact it was rich market garden land, especially notable for the gooseberry bushes at the north end that produced juicy gooseberries as large as plums.

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Although this early view of Hove Park looks extraordinarily bleak, the ground was once home to flourishing market gardens.The second view of Hove Park was taken in May 2009 and presents a tranquil scene far removed from the terrible scene of destruction after the Great Gale of 1987.
The cost of the land came to £14,600 and there was an additional £3,552 to pay as compensation to tenants. On the plus side, it was stated in 1906 that the park had provided work for many unemployed men and on one day alone there were 130 men busy laying paths, planting trees and bushes and putting up fencing.

The southern portion of Hove Park was officially opened on 24th May 1906. At the impressive opening ceremony the Mayor of Hove, Alderman Bruce Morison, dressed in his robes and chain of office, said in his speech that 7,040 trees and shrubs had been planted and the length of all the paths came to 4,950 yards. In 1912 it was decided that a row of trees should be planted on either side of the road at the north-east of the park.
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The south part of Hove Park was photographed in April 2009 with the freshness of tulips, wallflowers and cherry blossom to contrast with the venerable Goldstone seen in the distance.
After the Great Gale of 1967, John Phillips, head of parks and cemeteries, said it would be a good idea to plant a greater variety of trees and he did not intend to replace the long line of trees in the centre of the park because leaving it open would provide longer vistas. A lime tree was the first new tree to be planted. In January 1989 some 40 trees, including lime, copper beech and Himalayan birch were planted. Jim Buttimer, Mayor of Hove, wielded the ceremonial shovel assisted by Jewish schoolchildren. The synagogues of Brighton and Hove had donated £1,000 with which the trees were purchased. Local residents were also keen to do their bit and enough donations poured in to enable 460 new trees to be planted.

In January 1993 twelve lime trees were planted to commemorate the opening of the European Single Market.

Great Gale 16/17 October 1987

Nobody who was living locally at the time can ever forget the roar of the wind interspersed with the crash of falling trees. Many trees in Hove Park fell victim to the domino effect, that is one would be uprooted and would then crash against its neighbour, which in turn would fall against the next one. Hove Park was the scene of the worst desolation in Hove as there were only 250 trees left standing after the storm. Some 450 were either blown down or felled because they were dangerous.  Although the aftermath was a heart-breaking sight, there was a satisfactory outcome in the end because there was an opportunity to take a fresh approach to the park layout and, for instance, the children’s playground was re-located to a sunnier site. 

In Three Cornered Copse some 120 beech trees were blown down and other trees had to be removed for safety reasons.

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The original part of Hove Cemetery consisting of 25 acres on the south side of Old Shoreham Road was opened in 1882. As can be seen from the postcard trees were planted. The favoured species was sombre Scots pines but many were lost due to starlings roosting there and poisoning them with their droppings.
Some 500 street trees were removed, and 46 trees fell in Hove Cemeteries. St Ann’s Well Gardens lost 50 trees. Altogether it was reckoned that 2,000 trees went down in Hove and the council immediately placed an order for 800 new trees at a cost of £15,000. People were so shocked by the devastation that there were many donations to help with the new planting.

Restocking

Between January and the end of March 1988 some 850 trees were planted. In the 1989/1990 Annual Report it was stated that 300 street trees had been planted besides three large planting schemes of native trees and shrubs at
Devil’s Dyke Road in a joint project with Brighton and West Sussex County Council to landscape a new car park
Three Cornered Copse
Land near the Foredown Hospital site.
Unfortunately, a number of trees in the parks died despite constant watering.

Woodland Planting

1989 onwards Three Cornered Copse 3,000
1990 Foredown Allotments 3,000
1990-1991 Corner of Hangleton Road 300
                  Three Cornered Copse 2,400
                  Eastbrook Farm Allotments 600
                  Edgehill Open Space 867
                  Vale Park 580
1992-1993 Mile Oak Allotments 1,673
                  Hangleton Park 438
                  Benfield Valley 6,335
                  Greenleas Recreation Ground 2,095
1993-1994 Easthill Park 1,200
1994-1995 ‘Beeting Up’ replacing dead trees
1995-1996 Foredown Road 1,000
1996-1997 Greenleas 1,000
                  Benfield Valley 500
1997-1998 Benfield Valley 300
                  Knoll Recreation Ground 300
                  Palmeira Square / Adelaide Crescent 100    
              

On 2nd December 1990 National Tree Week was celebrated at Hove with the planting of around 1,700 trees in an area at the start of the new Dyke cycleway.

In December 1992 it was stated that Hove Council’s parks department looked after 5,700 street trees and 4,000 park trees.

In March 1993 a Swedish whitebeam was planted next to West Blatchington windmill to mark the 50th anniversary of the Trefoil Guild.

Hove’s Tree Strategy

In the early 1990s there were 5,844 street trees in Hove and Portslade – the few very large trees being concentrated in Shirley Drive (28) Tongdean Road (26) Tongdean Avenue (17) and Holmes Avenue (2) – the latter being the last remnants of an avenue of elms that once led to Gibbet’s Farm.
New Church Road was the road with the highest number of trees; there were 185 of which 134 were classed as large.
copyright © J.Middleton
This scene in New Church Road of the second Brighton Marathon
 took place on 10th April 2011. It is interesting to note that while some

 trees have put out new leaves others will not start until late May.

The Drive was the next road with the most trees and there were 107 of which 71 were classed as large.

In November 1995 Alister Peters, aborist with Hove Council, launched a project for the long-term management of trees, both public and private. He said the area was the last bastion of the elm and Hove had some 2,000 specimens. But most were between 80 and 120 years old and showing signs of age. In The Drive most of the 100 trees were senile. Although elms were perfect for the area because they flourished on chalky soil and tolerated salt-laden winds, he did not intend to continue with such a mono-culture.

Most tree planting was undertaken by the Victorians and Edwardians and virtually none had been carried out from the First World War until 1970s when the campaign ‘Plant a tree in 73’ had only limited success. This was shortly followed by the drought year of 1976 that killed some trees while infection took its toll on others.

Mr Peters said he intended to re-introduce young ‘big’ trees such as the lime and London plane to Hove’s wider roads and birch to smaller streets. Other new species had been introduced such as Turkish hazel, Italian elder and hornbeam. East Sussex County Council paid for the provision of six trees a year but the rest of the funding came from Hove Council.

In 1996 Hove Council spent £19,400 on a new shredder for use in parks and gardens. All the tree and shrub trimmings would be shredded for compost instead of being deposited in expensive landfill sites.

 In January 1996 it was stated that five Turkish elms would be planted on the north side of Portland Road near Sackville Road – the first of their kind to be planted in Hove.

As a result of high winds on 28/29 October 1996 fourteen mature trees were lost – either toppled or felled because they had become dangerous.

Hove’s Tree Strategy 1997

The benefits of trees to residents was outlined thus

Enhancement of local landscape
Filtering air pollution
Recycling air
Harbours wild life
Stress reducing benefit
Softens drab surroundings
Provides excellent noise barriers
Educational value
As regards the health issue, the leaves of street trees give off oxygen while absorbing lead and carbon dioxide.

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Trees also provide evocative shadows like the 
ones pictured here in St Leonard’s Road in 2002
Although trees were responsible for some damage such as lifting pavements and displacing kerbs, root damage to the foundations of properties was negligible because the area did not include heavy shrinkable clay or loam. The range of trees that could be planted was limited because of the chalk soil and coastal location and so the elm continued to be one of the best choices. During the 1970s and 1980s many Rosacae trees were planted – that is the species including most of the ornamental flowering trees such as cherry, crab apple and mountain ash. Modern thinking is that this was not a good idea because they were particularly prone to disease. For instance, in 1996 more ornamental cherry trees were lost due to bacterial canker than elm trees, which had to be removed because of Dutch elm disease. Another fact was that such trees reached over-maturity within 40 years whereas the elm had to be 80 before it was thus categorised. There has now been a return to more traditional trees such as the London plane, Norway maple and even the humble sycamore. 

In 1999 the number of street trees in Hove was put at 5,979. In April 1999 it was stated that Brunswick Town Business Association and Brunswick Community Association had paid for trees to be planted at the north end of Upper Market Street.

In December 1999, Jenny Langston, Mayor of Brighton & Hove, planted a tree in Avondale Road to commemorate her parents and parents-in-law. Memorial trees were part of a council scheme and it cost £80 to donate one.

In February 2000 the council completed a survey of all trees in parks and streets. Around 20 young trees were planted between School Road and Rutland Gardens in February 2000 and three trees were planted in New Church Road near St Philip’s Church.

Elms

The elm tree has long been popular as a street tree at Hove because it tolerates the chalky soil and sea air. Indeed the elm family comprise the largest number of trees in Hove. 

In June 1992 Hove Council put a preservation order on four elms in the gardens of two houses in New Church Road belonging to Brighton & Hove Hebrew Congregation. Also in June 1992 John Philips, director of Hove’s parks and gardens, said the town had 4,500 elm trees.
In February 1993 Hove Council put a preservation order on ten elms in Old Shoreham Road despite strong objections from East Sussex County Council, which called the action inappropriate and vexatious. This was because they had plans to build a 900-place school in the grounds of BHASVIC and if the scheme were to ahead, four would have to be felled and the other six would also be affected. In the event the school was never built.
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These two photographs record the beautiful elm trees in St Aubyns in spring and autumn.
In September 1998 it was announced that the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens had declared Brighton and Hove as home to the Nation’s elm collection, since there were still around 20,000 specimens in the area. Tree experts would collect details of all the elms.

In 1999 it was stated that there were 1,011 Wheatley elms (ulmus Sarniensis) and 807 Huntingdon’s elm (Ulmus Holl Vegeta) – there are examples of both in New Church Road. The former is easy to distinguish in the spring because it is very slow in putting out leaves and during the first part of May looks quite dead. There were 96 Golden Wych elms with specimens of (u. glabra x minor var. plotii) at Hove Recreation Ground and (u. glabra x minor var. vulagaris) at St Ann’s Well Gardens. There were eight specimens of the Coritanian elm and a rare (v. rotundifolia) was to be found at Hove Recreation Ground. Also in the same park were a Belgian elm (Daveyi) and a rare Cornish elm (var. cucullata).

Outside Hove Magistrate’s Court there was a rare Siberian elm (var. arborea) and a Downton elm (Smithii) at Cardinal Newman School. At St Ann’s Well Gardens there was a rare hybrid between an English and a wych elm. The English elm (u. minor var. vulgaris) is the most susceptible to Dutch elm disease and within the South Downs control zones there exists the only significant population of the southern form left in the entire world.    

Dutch Elm Disease

The disease first appeared in northern Europe in 1910 and was first recorded in Britain in 1927. Millions of elms were lost during the epidemic of the 1930s. But incidence of the disease during   World War II was greatly reduced owing to all spare timber being used up, if only for fuel.

By 1960 virulence was low and British policy was to leave trees suffering from a slight attack alone as they often recovered. However, a different policy was adopted in the United States of America and Holland where widespread felling was carried out.

In 1960 TR Peace, the Forestry Commission’s chief research officer, said Dutch elm disease might continue as a minor nuisance but it was his opinion it was unlikely to cause a disaster to British elms. 

Unfortunately, in the early 1970s a new and aggressive strain arrived in Britain. The disease attacks the tree by blocking the vascular bundles so that sap cannot move and leaves begin to wither. That is why brown elm leaves in the summer are always treated with suspicion. DED can be spread through root infection but it is usually the activities of the Scolytus species of bark-boring beetle that does the damage by carrying microscopic spores of the fungal disease (ophiostoma novo-ulmi) from one elm tree to another. Although the size of the beetle is no larger than a pin-head, it can cause the death of a giant of a tree.

In August 1975 it was reported that the magnificent avenue of elms at Holmes Avenue was probably doomed. They were planted around 300 years previously. Already four had been felled and it was probable more would follow. The disease was of particular relevance to Hove where in 1979 it was estimated that between 85% and 90% of the trees in the town were elms.
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This view looks north up St Aubyns towards
St Andrew’s Old Church.

In 1979 the disease spread through 30 mature trees in the New Church Road area and the source of infection was traced back to half-a-ton of logs delivered for firewood. Jack Humphries, director of parks and gardens, warned people to be careful about buying from disreputable log dealers. The worst year for Sussex was 1979 when over 5,000 trees were lost.

There was a brief lull in the incidence of disease but then the Great Gale of October 1987 provided a further impetus. Thousands of trees were toppled and the huge amount of dead timber left lying around meant that the elm bark beetle had a field day.

In the 1990s the Conservation Foundation was considering planting offspring of the local elms elsewhere.

In July 1990 it was stated there was an outbreak in the Wilbury area and already 30 trees had died – three times the number lost the previous year. In October 1990 it was said 37 trees had been felled at Hove that year while Brighton had felled 150.

In November 1991 three English elms were planted at Hove to mark 20 years of fighting DED.

In 1997, as part of the council tree strategy, it was stated the council would pay the full cost of dealing with DED on both private and public land.

In 1998 there was a new outbreak that resulted in more than 100 elms being felled in Brighton and Hove with one victim being a 150-year-old tree by St Peter’s Church, Brighton.

In June 1999 a large diseased elm was removed from a small private garden. The tree was cut down, piece by piece, and carried through the garden flat and out of the front door.

In February 1999 a new campaign was launched to save the stock of elm trees. Tree expert Alister Peters said that DED could kill a healthy tree within two weeks but if it was caught soon enough, it might be possible to save the tree through careful pruning. Notices would be erected at the boundaries informing people the council was tackling DED. In August 1999 the largest Cornish elm in Britain in Preston Park was felled because of the disease.

Brighton and Hove pursues an aggressive policy requiring prompt action when an infected elm is identified and because of this, a great deal of valuable stock has been preserved. The area also enjoyed the advantage of its unique situation being hemmed in by the Downs on the north and the sea on the south and thus the points of entry for the virus is reduced. 

Today there are more elm trees in Brighton and Hove than in the rest of Britain altogether. But constant vigilance is essential. For example, in October 2012 it was stated that daily checks are being carried out on two elm trees in Preston Park known as the Preston Twins. They have the distinction of being the oldest elm trees in the world with a venerable age of 350 years. Unhappily DED has been responsible for the loss of five other trees in the park. It is planned to replace them with new Wheatley elms.

Hove Civic Society launched their Victorian Street Tree Heritage campaign some eighteen months before their efforts resulted in a formal tree planting ceremony that took place on 14 December 2013; it was attended by the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Denise Cobb, and M.P. Mike Weatherley. At Marmion Road a hornbeam and a small-leaved elm were planted while because of the narrow pavement a flowering cherry was chosen for Stoneham Road. The idea behind the scheme was to replicate our Victorian ancestors' enthusiasm for planting trees in Hove streets. The Society managed to raise a total of £5,148 and it is hoped some forty trees will be planted in the Poets' Corner area.

Number of Elms lost to Dutch Elm Disease in Hove

1970 146
1971 150 (figures to August)
1975 c.100
1976 146
1977 c.400
1978 420
1979-1980 298
1982 159
1983 81
1984 100
1985 70
1986 40
1990 37
1991 1
1993 11
1994 11
1995 12

Dutch Elm Disease Strikes Again

It is sad to record that in August 2015 fourteen mature elm trees infected with the disease had to be felled at New Church Road and Westbourne Villas area. This felling did not see the end of the outbreak either and to date some 23 trees have been lost, which is tragic when you think how rare elm trees have become in the rest of England.

The source of infection was traced back to a log pile in the grounds of St Christopher's School. In November 2015 it was stated that around 100 concerned residents had signed a petition calling upon the management of the school (now owned by Brighton College) to pay for replacement trees and also to take into account the possibility of further losses within half a kilometre radius of the school grounds. The residents did not wish for saplings to be planted but want more substantial trees. Members of the school management, council officers and local councillor Denise Cobb were due to meet to discus the issue. 

Sources

Proceedings of Committees. There is a set of these bound volumes at Hove Reference Library and another in East Sussex Record Office.
Newspaper articles
Official reports

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