Tree of the week: An American elm that survives all the more safely in its isolation


This tree stands on Massachusetts farmland, 95 miles from the nearest town and safe from the ravages of Dutch elm disease

Jeff Kaufman, a retired doctor from Massachusetts, has made a point of visiting the same American elm for nearly two decades. Why? “This tree is a survivor,” he says. “Like many old American elms, it’s located in an isolated place where Dutch elm disease couldn’t get to it.”

The elm, which Kaufman estimates to be about 150 years old, stands in the middle of a field against the backdrop of the Berkshire Hills in western Massachusetts. It’s 95 miles from the nearest urban area, the small town of Egremont. Kaufman says that if you position yourself in a certain way, you can get a clear view of the tree with no evidence of human presence in the background. “It’s only when I photograph the tree that I realise how alone it really is. It’s very peaceful,” he says.

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