"the great elms of the cathedral close"
by cm
Study of an Elm Tree, c.1821
Public DomainStudy of an Elm Tree, c.1821 - Credit: John Constable

Elms were once a common feature of the English landscape, and were often found in churchyards along with yew trees.  Lord Byron wrote a poem, "Lines written beneath an elm in the churchyard of Harrow" (below).  In Celtic mythology, elms are closely associated with death and the Underworld.

Around 1967 a virulent strain of Dutch elm disease arrived in Britain, killing off over 25 million trees.  There are now very few mature elms left in the country.