07 Jul Dutch Elm Disease in North Texas Trees
Being living things, trees are naturally susceptible to disease and other forms of deterioration. However, like most plants and animals, trees are not always equipped to fight disease.
Over time, a diseased tree can die. Once that happens, the tree could become a safety hazard to your home or property and even endanger surrounding lives. With that said, you should be mindful to observe the characteristics of common tree diseases.
Since Elm trees are common in the North Texas region, studying Dutch Elm disease and its effects can be a great first start. Continue reading below to familiarize yourself with the Dutch Elm disease.
What is Dutch Elm Disease?
Dutch elm disease is an infectious disease that ravages Elm trees across the world. Elm trees are quite popular in the North Texas region, so the Dutch Elm disease has become a point of concern for many arborists, property owners, and environmental specialists.
This disease is caused by a sac fungi member that affects an Elm tree. Through vectors, primarily known as Elm bark beetles. These species of beetles nest in Elm trees, infecting them as a result.
In Europe, North America, and New Zealand, the Dutch Elm disease is a growing problem that can result in the death of Elm trees.
Why is Dutch Elm Disease Dangerous?
This disease is prominent in major areas of the world for one main reason – the vectors are insects. In horticulture, vectors are considered to be insects or fungi that are responsible for carrying and spreading disease.
When Elm bark beetles nest in Elm trees, they involuntarily bite and infect these trees. This can be a headache for municipalities and property owners because it can be difficult to spot these beetles and prevent damage. Though, there are some ways you can prevent the spread of Dutch Elm disease.
How to Prevent Dutch Elm Disease?
Dutch Elm disease is a public nuisance. Here are some insights to help you avoid spreading the disease on your property.
- Keep your trees healthy by pruning and fertilizing them so they can withstand the disease.
- Water your trees sufficiently between April and mid-August. This will allow your trees to harden before the winter months when they become susceptible to beetles.
- Dead trees and branches should be removed since they provide beetles habitation. Pruning should be done between October and March when beetles are not yet active.
- Dispose of all deceased elmwood by chipping, burning, or burying it.
In addition, follow these steps to avoid compromising the health of your trees in their weaker stages:
- Do not keep any elmwood, even if you’re not sure that it’s been infected.
- Avoid pruning between April and September. Elm bark beetles are active during these times and can take advantage of fresh wounds.
- Never transport elmwood. This can cause the disease to spread to other areas.
What are the Signs of Dutch Elm Disease?
Unfortunately, it can be challenging to spot the symptoms of Dutch Elm disease. Usually, the earliest signs of this disease are the wilting and yellowing of leaves on separate branches.
These leaves typically curl up and turn brown, dying several weeks later. Eventually, leaves will rapidly fall from the infected tree.
What to Do if You Spot It?
If you spot an infected tree, there isn’t much you can do to save it. Dutch Elm disease is a vascular wilt disease. This means that most of the fatal damage is done when you notice the external symptoms.
At this point, it’s best to remove the infected tree before others are infected. You should also place the discarded wood in a chipper or burn it for extra precaution.
Why You Need to Hire a Certified Arborist?
Remember that trees don’t have access to doctors and hospitals. They also don’t show any signs of pain and discomfort like animals. Nevertheless, it’s essential to distinguish the signs of Dutch Elm disease before it’s too late.
Hiring a certified arborist will ensure that you are able to point out infected trees before the damage becomes severe. Also known as tree surgeons, arborists are trained and skilled to identify diseased trees.
They also specialize in damage control and prevention to further protect your trees. At TreeNewal, we have built a strong reputation for delivering high-quality tree services. If you need a hands-on arborist to inspect your trees, you’ve come to the right place.
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