Ulmus minor 'Christine Buisman'

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ulmus minor 'Christine Buisman'
RN Ulmus hollandica Christine Buisman (amsteldijk amsterdam) 030223c.JPG
'Christine Buisman' Amsteldijk, Amsterdam.
SpeciesUlmus minor
Cultivar'Christine Buisman'

The Field Elm cultivar Ulmus minor 'Christine Buisman' was the first cultivar released by the Dutch elm breeding programme, initiated in response to the less virulent form of Dutch elm disease (DED), Ophiostoma ulmi, which afflicted Europe's elms after the First World War.[1] 'Christine Buisman' was selected from a batch of 390 seedlings grown from seed collected in the Parque de la Quinta de la Fuente del Berro, Madrid, by Mrs Van Eeghen, a friend of elm researcher Johanna Westerdijk, in 1929 and named for the elm disease researcher Christine Buisman.[2] Originally identified as Ulmus foliacea (syn. U. minor), it was later treated as Ulmus × hollandica by Melville.[3] However, more recent research in Belgium using DNA markers has reaffirmed 'Christine Buisman' as a clone of U. minor.[4]

Originally identified as clone No. '24', it showed no symptoms of DED after several artificial inoculations. In later years, minor symptoms were detected on both the motherplant and grafted descendants, but these were considered too insignificant to delay its release to commerce as Ulmus 'Christine Buisman' in 1937.


Ulmus hollandica Christine Buisman foliage.jpg

The tree was deemed to have 'no outstanding ornamental characteristics', being 'broadly pyramidal, but 'irregular' in shape, notably the habit of one or two of the main branches initially growing out almost horizontally for about 1 m before curving upwards to the vertical, while outer branches can be long and pendulous.[2] Other authorities have been more generous, noting its straight trunk and relatively short and slender branches forming a small crown. The twigs are dark brown, strigose pubescent at first, becoming smooth. The alternate buds are ovoid, covered with a grey pubescence. The leaves are 7.0 cm long by 4.5 cm wide, very oblique at the base, with doubly serrate margins, smooth and dark green above, lighter below, and with prominent parallel veins covered with coarse white hair. The petiole is 10 mm long.[5][6]

Pests and diseases[edit]

'Christine Buisman' was found to be highly resistant to DED,[7] but prone to some strains of Coral Spot fungus Nectria cinnabarina as it lacked resistance mechanisms.[8] In the USA, the clone also proved highly resistant to elm yellows,[5] but very susceptible to Japanese beetles.[9]


The tree had not been thoroughly evaluated in the field before its release. However, such was the clamour for a resistant tree in the Netherlands, nurseries there raised and released large numbers, selling almost 10,000 per annum by the late 1930s. Once its shortcomings, which included poor resistance to sea winds, became apparent, commercial production soon ceased,[10] although by this time it had already been exported to Italy and the United States [8] where it was planted as a street tree. The tree can still be found in the Netherlands, notably in The Hague, and Heiloo, and in the UK at Brighton. In North America, the tree has proved tolerant of heat, drought, and cold. In 1972, 1,000 trees were planted in Kansas City.[11] Hardiness USDA Zone 4 (-20° to -10°F, or -29° to -23° C).[9]

Notable trees[edit]

A large specimen planted in 1957 by Bernice Cronkhite in memory of Christine Buisman survives (2010) outside the Cronkhite Graduate Center, Harvard University, US.[12] A particularly impressive plantation exists in the US at Buffalo, along McKinley, Chapin, Bidwell, and Lincoln Parkways, as well as Richmond Avenue and in Forest Lawn Cemetery. In the UK, the TROBI Champion is found on Palmeira Avenue, Hove, 12 m high by 38 cm d.b.h. in 2009.[13]

USDA trials[edit]

'Christine Buisman' was extensively trialled during the 1950s in the northern central states of the US by the USDA's Agricultural Research Service. The tree performed very well, and such losses that were sustained were attributable to climatic extremes, not disease.[5]



The tree is named for Christine Buisman, the first full-time elm researcher (1927-1936) in the Netherlands, who provided the final proof that Graphium ulmi Schwarz (now: Ophiostoma ulmi (Buisman) Melin & Nannf. ) was the causal agent of Dutch elm disease. Buisman died in 1936, aged 36.


  • Ulmus 'Buisman': Plant Buyer's Guide, ed. 6. 285, 1958, without description.
  • Ulmus × hollandica 'Christine Buisman': Melville, and various arboreta listings in US and Europe.
  • Ulmus procera 'Christine Buisman': Morton Arboretum Catalogue 2006.


North America




  1. ^ Heybroek, H.M. (1993). "The Dutch Elm Breeding Program". In Sticklen, Mariam B.; Sherald, James L. (eds.). Dutch Elm Disease Research. New York, USA: Springer-Verlag. pp. 16–25. ISBN 978-1-4615-6874-2. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b Morton Arboretum. Ulmus 'Christine Buisman'. Elm cultivars checklist.[1]
  3. ^ Melville, R. (1978). On the discrimination of species in hybrid swarms with special reference to Ulmus and the nomenclature of U. minor (Mill.) and U. carpinifolia (Gled.). Taxon 27: 345-351
  4. ^ Cox, K., Vanden Broeck, A., Vander Mijnsbrugge, K., Buiteveld, J., Collin, E., Heybroek, H. M., Mergeay, J. (2013). Interspecific hybridization and interaction with cultivars affect the genetic variation of Ulmus minor and Ulmus glabra in Flanders. Tree Genetics & Genomes Springer-Verlag, Berlin. 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Dodge, A. F. (1960). Woody ornamental and shelter plants for the North Central Region 1954–1959: Five year report on regional plantings of Ulmus carpinifolia Gled. 'Christine Buisman' . USDA - ARS, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA
  6. ^ "Photograph of 'Christine Buisman' elm". Archived from the original on 2015-02-25. Retrieved 2017-02-02.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  7. ^ Gibbs, J. N. et al. (1975). Eur. J. Forest Path. 5:161–174.
  8. ^ a b Heybroek, Hans M. (1957). "Elm breeding in the Netherlands". Silvae Genetica. 6 (3–4): 112–117.
  9. ^ a b Koller, G. L. & Dirr, M. A. (1979). Street Trees for Home and Municipal Landscapes. Arnoldia 39-3,  p.167, May–June 1979. [2]
  10. ^ Heybroek, Hans M. (1983). Burdekin, D.A. (ed.). "Resistant elms for Europe" (PDF). Forestry Commission Bulletin (Research on Dutch elm disease in Europe). London: HMSO (60): 108–113.
  11. ^ Pinney, J. J. (1971). One variety of elm tree is both hardy and lovely. The Kansas City Times, 31 December 1971,  p.22. [3]
  12. ^ Anon. (1958). The Christine Buisman Elm. Radcliffe Quarterly Vol. XLI, February 1958, No. 1. p. 5. Harvard University, USA.
  13. ^ a b Johnson, O. (2011). Champion Trees of Britain & Ireland, p. 168. Kew Publishing, Kew, London. ISBN 9781842464526.
  14. ^ "List of plants in the {elm} collection". Brighton & Hove City Council. Retrieved 23 September 2016.

External links[edit]