How to Save a Dying Elm Tree

Elm trees have been around for over 40 million years and over 30 species of elms exist. While they originated in Asia, only 8 of them can be found in North America.

Just like any other trees, elms are vulnerable to tree diseases and unwanted pests. It is essential to know how to identify your elm tree’s diseases before it is too late. Knowing the signs can help save a dying elm tree.

Read on to get started.

What Diseases Kills Elm Trees

The elm population used to be very big until the 1900s when the elm trees started dying.  The cause for the dying elm trees was Dutch elm disease. This disease is contagious, but you can still save your elm tree from dying.

Another disease that can infect elm trees is Elm phloem necrosis, also know as elm yellows. Bacteria brought by spittlebugs and leafhoppers cause this disease.

Grafted roots also cause Dutch elms disease. When roots from two different trees fuse in the soil, it can cause an infected tree to get a healthy tree sick.

This disease is not as contagious as the Dutch elm disease, but it is untreatable. In less than two years, elm yellows can kill a mature elm tree.

Identifying Dutch Elm Disease

Dutch elm disease is caused by insects that carry fungus such as bark beetles. This disease causes the tree’s vascular system to stop working, which causes the tree to clog, restricting the nutrients and water flow.

This disease causes the leaves to become brown and fragile, causing the branch to die. Another symptom to look out for is streaking on the sapwood. It is important to catch and treat this disease early to save the tree.

Elm trees are more vulnerable to Dutch elm disease from spring to mid-summer.

Identifying Elm Yellows

You can identify Elm Yellows disease by observing the leaves. During July through September, it is easier to notice symptoms.

It usually beings with the older leaves, then eventually all of the leaves will start to appear yellow, wilt, and fall before it is time.

Before the leaves turn yellow, you can see the disease in the inner bark.

How To Cure Dutch Disease 

One way of saving a dying elm tree is by identifying where the disease is. To identify it, you will need to cut narrow strips on the bark to see stained sapwood.

Once you have found it, you will need to cut the branches. Make sure to cut an extra 10 feet from the infected area. Once you have cut the branches, you will have to observe the tree and see if it recovered.

Another way of saving an infected elm tree is by doing a chemical treatment. How this works is you inject a fungicide into the lower parts of the trunk.

If the tree still has green leaves, it will help the fungicide travel to the vascular system.

It is best to do this treatment after a deep watering or after it rains. The elm tree may need more than one treatment since the effects are temporary.

Elm Yellows

Unfortunately, elm yellow is a disease that affects the entire tree. Once a tree is diagnosed with elm yellows, it will get weaker and will die.

It is best to cut down the tree, and it is recommended to burn it to prevent it from infecting other trees. Click here to read more to learn about pruning your elm trees.

Are You Ready to Save You Dying Elm Tree?

Now that you know more about identifying a dying elm tree, it’s time you save your tree.

Start by learning the most common types of elm tree diseases, become familiar with the diseases, and prevent them.

If you enjoyed this article and you would like to learn more, check out the rest of our blog.

Leave a Reply