Best all-natural freak of nature (2008)


The bonsai-like CAMPERDOWN ELM just southeast of the boathouse in Prospect Park traces its lineage back to one mutant plant found in Scotland around 1840. A forester grafted the strange seedling to a Scotch elm in the Earl of Camperdown's gardens, and a rare, sterile new species was born. When Dutch elm disease menaced this tree, New York's only Camperdown, in 1967, poet Marianne Moore wrote, "We must save it. It is/our crowning curio."


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