Dutch Elm Disease

fungal diseases
fungal diseases

Joseph OBrien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

fungal diseases

George Hudler, Cornell University, Bugwood.org

fungal diseases fungal diseases fungal diseases


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Dutch elm disease is a vascular wilt disease caused by the fungus Ophiostoma ulmi. It can enter the tree through wounds made by elm bark beetles or root grafts from adjacent infected elm trees. Once the fungus enters the tree, the tree responds by gumming up its vascular system in at attempt to stop the spread of the fungus, ultimately killing itself.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Yellowing and wilting leaves at random locations in the canopy
  • Abnormal leaf drop
  • Vascular streaking under the bark

Effects On Your Tree

It is difficult and costly to treat an elm tree that is diagnosed with Dutch elm disease.Once diagnosed, it is typically too late and the only option is removal, as tree death is the result of infection.

Management Options

Prevention is key when managing susceptible elms for Dutch elm disease. An injection with fungicide may be applied every 2 to 3 years to ensure protection from this disease. Routine monitoring for signs and symptoms should be employed if you have an untreated elm.

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