Dutch Elm Disease in Alabama: Understanding and Addressing the Threat with Ace Tree Services
Dutch Elm Disease (DED) is a devastating fungal disease affecting elm trees across North America and Europe. With its presence in Alabama,
Ace Tree Services aims to provide comprehensive information about DED, its impact on elm trees, and how our company can help protect and manage this disease in the Birmingham and Huntsville regions.
What is Dutch Elm Disease?
DED was first detected in the United States in Ohio during the summer of 1930 and reached North Carolina by 1962. This fungal disease affects all native North American elm species and those from Europe. The primary mode of transmission for DED is through elm bark beetles, which feed on and lay eggs in elm trees. As these beetles tunnel into the bark, they spread fungal spores from their bodies into the tree's tissues, infecting it with DED.
Once infected, the tree's water-conducting vessels (xylem) become blocked, severely limiting its ability to transport water and other essential materials. The most noticeable sign of DED is "flagging" in the tree's canopy, characterized by wilting and yellowing leaves.
Treatment and Prognosis
DED treatment can be either preventative or therapeutic. Preventative treatments aim to reduce the likelihood of healthy elms becoming infected with DED and are typically applied every two years. Therapeutic treatments involve injecting chemicals into an already infected tree and pruning out any affected limbs.
However, the effectiveness of treatments on infected trees can be limited. If a tree has more than 15 to 20% of its canopy showing signs of DED, it is less likely to respond positively to treatment and may need to be considered for removal.
Hope for the Future
Over the years, significant efforts have been made to develop new resistant varieties of elm trees in response to the Dutch Elm Disease. While no variety is 100% resistant to the disease, many have shown promising resistance. Some of these resistant varieties include the Princeton, Valley Forge, and Homestead elms.
Ace Tree Services is dedicated to preserving and protecting Alabama's elm trees in the Birmingham and Huntsville areas. By providing information, prevention, and treatment options, we are committed to mitigating the impact of Dutch Elm Disease on our landscapes and ensuring the health and beauty of our trees. Call an ISA certified arborist from Ace Tree Service at (205) 332-7757!