DUTCH ELM DISEASE KILLS ELM TREES!
Many people think that Dutch Elm Disease is a thing of the past. NOT TRUE! This disease that was introduced to our country early in the last century still kills many American elms each year. And once your tree has the disease, it is virtually incurable.
This disease is a vascular wilt disease caused by a fungal organism that is carried by a vector insect, the elm bark beetle.
If a contaminated beetle feeds on a susceptible elm in the spring, it can inoculate that tree with the fungal disease, leading to death of the tree over the next month or two in most cases. On rare occasions, if caught early, the diseased portion of the tree can be trimmed out and save the tree.
SO WHAT SAVES ELM TREES?
Back in the 1950s and 1960s we preserved elm trees by thorough coverage sprays of DDT to kill the beetle when it tried to feed on the elm tree. Now DDT has been banned and it is not practical to spray with the kind of coverage that is needed.
NOW we have an excellent fungicide that we can inject into elm trees to give protection. Arbotect can be injected once every two years and give 95% or better protection from the disease. The cost to perform this injection is 15 to 20 dollars per diameter inch. So a 20 inch diameter tree costs 300 to 400 dollars to inject.
An important consideration is that to remove that same tree if it is near a structure or in a back yard would cost $2000 or more. So treating the tree is like buying an iinsurance against that risk. And you keep your beautiful elm tree.