Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ways to fight Dutch Elm disease

Dutch Elm disease is the the cancer of the tree world.  Dutch Elm disease has decimated the American elm population.  As part of the war against Dutch elm disease, the cancer of the tree world, two North Shore towns have turned to biological weapons that pit a friendly fungus against the killer Dutch Elm fungus.


American elm trees in Highland Park and Lake Forest have been inoculated with a biological control agent called Dutch Trig.


Dutch Trig is a fungus. Dutch Trig is believed to set up an immune response in the tree to fight off the effects of Dutch elm disease, which is caused by a fungus that is carried by European bark beetles or transmitted through the roots of neighboring trees.
Once an elm is infected, the killer fungus clogs the water-carrying vascular system--preventing moisture from reaching the majestic leafy crown of American elms known for forming cathedral-like arches over Chicago area streets. Typically, the leaves turn yellow or brown, bark falls off and limbs die.
Dutch Trig is injected with a tool that is shaped like a pistol and works like a hypodermic needle. The sharp barrel chisels a hole in the bark, then squirts a measured dose of the fungistat into the tree, which inhibits the growth of the killer fungus.
This is repeated every three inches around the circumference of the trunk about chest-high from the ground. The entire process takes about 10 minutes.
Chemical fungicides have been on the market for about 30 years, but they are expensive and injection times can range from two to 24 hours.
The foresters of Highland Park and Lake Forest joined in the Dutch Trig experiment in an attempt to find a better, faster and cheaper way to deal with the tree disease. The targeted trees are mature elms that escaped the earlier infestation.
Highland Park has 1,962 American elms on city parkways, but does not keep count of elms on private property. Another method of dealing with Dutch elm disease is to cut down the diseased trees to keep them from infecting others. 
Dan Reeves, Lake Forest city forester, said his town has 250 to 300 American elms left on its parkways, compared with 25,000 in 1955. The city lost more than 160 elms to the disease.
The Morton Arboretum in Lisle estimated that 40 million American elms have been lost to Dutch elm disease since the 1930s, probably close to half of the elms in the country.
Let's all join in the war against this awful tree disease.



At Trees "R" Us, Inc. we take pride in not only our professional tree care services, but also educating our customers.  It is through education that we really save trees and help the environment.  We hope you found this post informative and educational. 
Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service for the Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest suburbs.  Tree trimming, tree removal, stump grinding, fertilizations, tree disease treatments and prevention as well as plant health care are just a few of our high quality, professional services.  Contact us today for a free analysis or quote at www.treesrusinc.com or at 847-913-9069.
Thanks for reading,
Nick

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