One day your elm tree is looking green and vibrant. Weeks later, its leaves are curling, turning brown and tumbling to the ground, even though fall is months away. This looks like the work of a dangerous serial killer known as Dutch elm disease. Since it's your tree who has been harmed, it's up to you to do the detective work to confirm that Dutch elm disease is in fact to blame. You must then take action to make sure he doesn't strike again.
Convicting Dutch Elm Disease As Your Tree's Killer
Dutch elm disease is the most serious of the diseases that can affect elm trees, but it's not the only one. Elm yellows has been known to bother elm trees from time to time, but this disease causes the leaves turn yellow and leads to defoliation across the entire crown of the tree. Dutch elm disease, sneaky killer that he is, prefers to damage leaves branch by branch, and they always turn brown and crumbly after he visits.
If your tree's leaves are only brown or yellowed along the veins, you need not worry. This is not the work of Dutch elm disease, but is rather due to bacterial leaf scorch, a petty criminal who is more of a nuisance than anything.
How to Handle the Victim Tree
You might need the help of an experienced tree care expert to convict Dutch elm disease as your tree's killer. Once you've determined that Dutch elm is to blame, it's time to divert your attention to caring for the victim tree. If the infection is still in its early stages, a tree care service may be able to save the tree by pruning out the affected branches, but there are no guarantees. Unfortunately, if you wait too long, you may end up losing the tree entirely.
Making Sure Dutch Elm Disease Does Not Strike Again
Dutch elm disease kills many of his victims, so it's best to keep him away rather than try to resuscitate trees that he has attacked. To make sure his fungal spores don't spread to other trees in the area, burn any clippings from your infected tree. If your tree does perish, make sure it is properly disposed of through cremation, or else Dutch elm's mighty spores may still linger on its branches and be passed to other trees.
If you have other elm trees on your property, you can protect them from Dutch elm disease by covering them in a blanket of fungicides each spring, which is when Dutch elm is most actively on the hunt for new victims.
Dutch elm disease has been terrorizing trees in North America since 1931. So far, countless juries of tree owners and forest experts have been unable to stop him. However, hope must be kept alive! By working together and treating one tree at a time, tree owners can stop this ruthless serial killer. To learn more, contact a company like Destiny's Tree Service LLC with any questions or concerns you have.