Dutch Elm Disease

greenhearted(5a IL)June 20, 2014

Hi, I have some really lovely Elms on my property; probably 7 or so total. About half of them have been killed from DED. The three that are slightly more isolated from the others are still going strong. Is there anything I can do to protect these? It breaks my heart to think of losing them.

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saccharum(z9 FL)

You might consider doing a preventative treatment with a systemic fungicide. There are several that are effective for that in elms (see link below)

Here is a link that might be useful: Fungicide Injection to Control Dutch Elm Disease

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 12:39PM
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jdo053103(7b - NC)

I am having quite the battle with DED as well with my winged elms. The problem I have they are all root grafted. Already had to cut 11 down over the past 3 years.

These are not high value or feature trees, common trash tree here in NC, they grow like weeds. Winged elms are a lot tougher than American elms, they put up a good fight. Some will live right next to a diseased elm and be fine, others will wilt and die over the course of 2 or 3 years. NC forestry service tested the trees positive for the disease.

Slippery Elms seem to not be effected on my property.

If your trees are valuable you can have them injected with a fungicide, I last a few years then you have to retreat, it's not cheap either. If any of your elms are root grafted with a diseased elm, there is nothing you can do.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 2:17PM
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greenhearted(5a IL)

Thanks for the very informative link, saccahrum. Sorry to hear you are in the same boat, jdo.

The three I am hoping to keep are separated by my house from the group that is dying, so I don't think root grafting is a concern.

However, I do live in an rural area with many wild American Elms that have it. It might be an uphill battle and if it is costly to upkeep, perhaps I am better off taking them down and replacing them as they decline. Maybe I'll get a quote for the treatment and go from there.

Something (else) to ponder...

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 3:38PM
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saccharum(z9 FL)

When I lived in Michigan, American elms were fairly common to find in the environment, but it was also pretty common to see them dead and dying. The Michigan State campus had quite a few big, old, picturesque elm trees surviving, mostly because they had a program to do regular fungicide infusions every couple of years. Even with that, every now and then you'd see one succumb to DED. The treatments do work, but as in human medicine, no treatment is 100% effective, all the time.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 8:23AM
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I have a few of the disease resistant elms on my property and have not yet had to deal with it. Here is a link to a place that sells kits to treat your own elm trees... probably worth the investment if u have a lot of them on your property and want to keep them alive for a while!

Actually looks pretty easy to do yourself. ..

Here is a link that might be useful: Self-Treatment of Dutch Elm Disease

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 9:54PM
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Enormous sums of money have been spent in an effort to save American elm trees, especially particularly valuable individual trees, from DED. These treatments may have some value in delaying the inevitable, but in the end all do succumb. It's up to you to decide if the effort, cost, etc. are worthwhile to buy a few extra years.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 7:16AM
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greenhearted(5a IL)

Thanks longtee -- wowzers $521 just for a gallon of the stuff!

akamaine, it's a tough call but if I think it's sad now, I'll really think its sad when I've invested so much financially and emotionally! Especially since the disease is prevalent in my area and it is likely only a matter of time...

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 4:44PM
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