Redheads Beware, Dutch Elm Disease is In the Air!

A BBC Radio broadcast featured an interview with an elderly academic, Dr. Clothier, who talked about the government’s efforts to stop the spread of Dutch Elm Disease, which had been infecting many of England’s trees. Dr. Clothier described some startling discoveries about the tree disease. For instance, he referred to the research of Dr. Emily Lang of the London School of Pathological and Environmental Medicine who had found that exposure to Dutch Elm Disease immunized people to the common cold.

Unfortunately, there was a side effect. Exposure to the disease also caused red hair to turn blonde. It is thought that the similarity between the blood count of redheads and the soil conditions is what caused the change. Therefore, redheads are advised to stay away from forests for the foreseeable future, until there are no longer any Elm trees in existence.



Dr. Clothier was actually the comedian Spike Milligan. This was originally pranked in 1950.

Β© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

44 thoughts on “Redheads Beware, Dutch Elm Disease is In the Air!

  1. Oh fooey. I was in art school during the height of the Dutch Elm Disease blight, and my wood professor, whose name was not John Wood, dragged us around in a pickup, picking up lengths of stinky old elm trunks. Done of those trunks were HUGE! Size XXXXXL at least. The ones we managed to drag into the studio, we’d design a rough draft and John would rough out the wood with a chainsaw. I have never seen a man more in love with his Husqvarna. Never. Then I went after my stinky stump with my favorite shake shingling hatchet, hand forged with a hand carved hickory handle, then scoop gouges, et cetera.

    All it ever did to my hair was get it full of elm shavings and make it smell like sulphur.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is a great story!
      The smell of DED is pretty bad once it gets going in a tree. Chainsaws are a scary yet sexy turn on for me. .. they can cut your arm off or can make trees beautiful and art that is devine.


      • Lmao…you are funny…arm off? πŸ˜‰
        I do chainsaw carving. But it has been awhile…
        I see some trees on our land begging to be carved.
        They got bugs in them anyways…
        The woodpeckers here are slacking in their job!

        Liked by 1 person

          • Wow, that is really cool!
            You know you could make some money off that. Seriously. It’s really cute. And has a lot of details too.
            Maybe just carve a hole in the bottom for a metal pole, long enough for it to be put in the ground with quickset cement. Keep it a inch or two off the ground so if it rains it wont eventually rot. Slap a sealer on it and its good to go.
            When I workedat the art gallery making things, they also carved a LOT of dolphins and bears for mailboxes for peoples yards. Just cut a hole in it where the mailbox goes. ( post office even has certain heights to be met for the mailmen )
            People would go gaga over them.
            What state are you in?
            Here one of their symbols ( or what ever you call it ) happens to be a red pig. Uhhh… maybe I can do that for mailboxes. Lmao. They buy most anything with that on it…..;)

            Liked by 2 people

              • Yeah, it’s called Arkansas. ..
                Sooo weeee pigggg !!!!
                It’s embarrassing and it makes me want to hide. Everyone’s got one it seems.
                Give em that and a case of beer and they’re good to go. Lol
                I’m originally from Texas. And no, i’m not one of the loudmouths from there either. Some of them embarrass me too.
                I’m just kind of quiet and like to enjoy things. πŸ˜‰

                Liked by 2 people

                • Oink! 🐷 ha ha! I guess northerners say oink instead of soooo-weee! πŸ˜‰
                  I tried to plan a camping trip a few winters ago to Arkansas, however the normally 40-50F winter was down to 20F! We had to drive further south to Alabama. I had found lots of cool things in your state to see.. the hot springs and forest preserves look very awesome to explore! I’ll get there soon.

                  Liked by 1 person

  2. One of our recent Prime Ministers is a red head and maybe she got DED. But if you get to be a genuine blonde you have to walk around all day with earphones on that have a continuous loop saying “Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out……………..” But I don’t think you need it if you turn blonde. Anyway, I really appreciate all posts that are dated April 1.

    Liked by 2 people

Time to fire-up the chair-to-keyboard interface!!!

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