Sunday, February 22, 2015

How will you protect your trees from Dutch Elm Disease?

Dutch Elm Disease. You've probably heard the name, but do you really know what it is? Do you know how to prevent it? Can you prevent it? Treat it? Let's start at the beginning.

Dutch Elm Disease is a nasty tree bug that has the potential of destroying all the elms of an entire community quickly. I've seen this happen first hand many times. We've contracted with villages to remove literally 100s of infected trees leaving the once tree-lined city streets bare. 

The major problem is that elm trees have no natural defenses against the bug since the bug is not from this region. It was imported here from France and here it stays. Not one of the better things we got from France, huh?

Another problem is that communities primarily planted one tree species which would end up lining thousands of streets in the U.S., the elm. We chose elms because they are beautiful and hearty in our unpredictable climate. If well maintained, they could last for hundreds of years. However, by lining all our trees with the elm, and only the elm, we had a huge source of food for an insect or disease outbreak such as Dutch Elm Disease. 

 The disaster began in 1931 when a shipment of elm logs transported from France to Cleveland, Ohio introduced the Dutch elm fungus to the U.S. and that simple shipment of logs started this endless cycle of disease. As a result, approximately 77 million elm trees were wiped out between 1931 and 1980. A staggering number.

What did we learn from this? Protection! Try to protect these trees that have no natural defense against this deadly bug. Tree maintenance by a professional tree service company is key. Trees "R" Us, Inc. has experience dealing with this bug, diagnosing tree diseases, and providing you either with a treatment plan or a prevention plan. Trees "R " Us, Inc. has been working on controlling the spread of Dutch Elm Disease on the North Shore area of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs since the mid 1990s. We certainly have seen our fair share of trees that have perished from the bug and don't want to see anymore! Prompt and correct treatment is key and Trees "R" Us, Inc. is here to help you. Contact us at, fill out our online form or call us at 847-913-9069.

The other valuable lesson is also crucial to keeping this disease at bay. Citizens and officials must learn that they need to diversify street tree plantings to prevent disease outbreaks that cause mass die-offs. If the citizens and officials had heeded this warning back in the 1930s, the tree loss from that era wouldn't be so staggering. It's a good thing we all learned our lesson...or did we? Many communities are still only planting Elms and not taking the appropriate measures to protect them.

Now, that is just a plain waste of money. It is just a matter of time before those trees become infected and have to be removed. Wise up! Do your research! Plant accordingly.

Thanks for reading,

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