Dutch elm disease is a fungal disease caused by Ophiostoma ulmi that enters the tree through wounds. Once infected, it spreads to the woody tissue that conducts water before moving throughout the tree. This stops the tree from getting the nutrients it needs. Dutch elm disease is found in most of the U.S. and seriously and fatally affects most elms.
To combat Dutch elm disease in Missouri, Hansen’s Tree Service is dedicated to spreading awareness and educating homeowners. Here is what you should know:
Know What Trees Are Affected
The first step of combating the spread of Dutch elm disease is knowing what elm varieties are affected. These include:
- American elm
- Red elm
- Slippery elm
- Rock elm
American elms are the most susceptible to Dutch elm disease. Some varieties have a higher tolerance to the disease, labeled as DED resistant at nurseries. If you have any of these elms on your property, you need to keep a close eye on their health and check for the symptoms of Dutch elm disease.
Identify The Symptoms Of Dutch Elm Disease
Once you have determined what type of tree you have on your property, you need to know how to identify the symptoms of Dutch elm disease. Symptoms include:
- Yellowing, wilting, curling leaves
- Leaf drops
- Crown dieback
- Brown discoloration on the outer layer of wood under the bark
Managing The Disease With Hansen’s Tree Service
If more than 50% of the tree’s crown is affected by the disease or the tree is weakened, the diagnosis is fatal, as there is no cure for Dutch elm. Remove diseased trees and replace them with varieties resistant to Dutch elm disease, like Asiatic elm.
To protect your trees from Dutch elm, you must perform the proper care and maintenance year-round:
- Water and fertilize as needed
- Remove diseased trees
- Prune away dead, dying, and diseased branches
- Prevent pest infestations, which can help provide protection
Choose a professional, reputable tree care service like Hansen’s Tree Service that will consult with you about the best course of action if your elm has been affected by Dutch elm disease.