Why is knowledge of Dutch Elm Disease important and why does it affect me?
Well first of all trees help us breath, If that's not enough for you, you may be a fish....
Our trees are a very large part of our Eco system and Elm trees are a big part of that. Here in Manitoba, many Elm trees were planted due to their beautiful canopy and their hardiness. Now we have a large amount of large established beautiful trees in our neighborhoods that we need to protect.
Is my tree an elm tree?
Here is a good example of bark and leaf of a American Elm tree.
Dutch Elm Disease or DED is a tree disease that is found in the vascular system of a elm tree that tends to be fatal.
Now you know your tree is an elm but is it at risk?
- All elms are at risk, but the American Elm is most susceptible.
- Are there trees in your neighborhood that have been affected?
- Has someone in your area transported elm firewood that has been affected?
Does my Elm tree have Dutch Elm Disease?
You will first notice dead branches at the top of your tree, and it will progress down till the tree has no green left. DED is caused by the fungus carried in by the beetles nestled in the tissues that carry water and nutrients to the tree, which ultimately blocks transport of nutrition to the tree's extremities.
Dutch Elm Disease (DED) is caused by little fungal spores hitching a ride on the backs of the elm bark beetles. These little guys burrow into the tree making their way into the sapwood, the sapwood is responsible for a means of transportation of nutrients to all areas of the tree. If the beetle is carrying this little fungal spore, it gets dumped off in the xylem(sapwood) of the tree, it multiplies and eventually blocks this nutrition transport system leading to canopy die-back, and ultimately the death of the tree. The first signs are sudden die-back of higher up branches most often on one side without any other explanation as to why this is happening.
Now that I know what's up with Elm trees...
If you know that you have an Elm tree, only get it trimmed at the right time of year.
March 31- Aug 1. of each year is the no trim ban. Don't let anyone tell you that its ok to do it any-other time. No arborist should consider trimming your tree out of season,nor should you.
If you suspect that your tree has Dutch Elm Disease
- Call Sustainable Development - Forests Branch 204-9450-6784
If you are unsure, let us help you out a bit. Feel free to send us an email and we can let you know. We are also in the business of trimming so if you're in need, give us a call well before spring. We would want the cuts on your tree to heal completely before those little beetles get out and are looking for a new home in your tree.
- John and Sheila Gonty