Dutch Elm Disease Evident In 300-Yr-Old Tree

Sad news is coming to us from the Isle of Man this week, with the BBC reporting that what is thought to be the oldest tree on the Isle of Man – a 300-year-old elm – is now showing signs of Dutch elm disease.

This is a fungal disease spread by elm bark beetles, causing rapid browning, shrivelling and death of these particular trees. There are several symptoms to look out for during the summer months, such as the foliage turning yellow, wilting, shrivelling up and then dying. Bark may also peel off some affected branches, revealing brown streaks in the wood. Any dead trees do need to be felled immediately as they do pose a safety hazard and health risk.

According to the news source, the Manx government has found several diseased branches on the old elm tree and these have now been removed. Other trees have also been removed and two more are now being tested.

Elm disease was first identified on the island back in 1992, decades after it was first spotted in the UK. A spokesman said that since then, the Isle of Man has lost around one per cent of the 250,000 elm trees to the disease.

Geoffrey Boot, environment minister, was quoted by the news source as saying: “By helping to identify cases as soon as possible, we can take prompt action. The Forestry Division has had a very effective disease control programme… but we need people to be vigilant.”

Unfortunately, there is no effective cure for the disease out there at the moment but early felling or removal of infected trees and branches can slow its spread.

For help with tree removal in Manchester, get in touch with us today.

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