Dutch Elm Disease Decks Texas Trees
Early symptoms of Dutch elm disease (DED) include ''flagging'', a yellowing and curling of leaves and tips of tree branches caused by lack of water. Other diseases can cause similar symptoms, so a plant pathologist should check infected leaves to assist with treatment options.
A Texas town has cut down two trees that tested positive for Dutch elm disease, according to the Texas Forest Service. Colleyville, a suburb of Dallas, is the fourth town to report detection of the disease.
Dutch elm disease (DED) has also been detected in nearby towns Southlake, Flower Mound and North Richland Hills. The latest trees to contract DED were discovered in a flood plain near Little Bear Creek in Colleyville. The affected areas in Southlake are in creeks, ravines and ditches.
Elm bark beetles spread DED fungal spores, usually to American elms or slippery elms. Early symptoms include yellowing leaves and branch tips that eventually turn brown and curl up, a process called ''flagging'', caused by a lack of water. DED can be treated with fungicides if recognized very early, but by the time symptoms appear the disease is often already spread through too much of the tree for salvage.
A plant pathologist should check infected leaves as other diseases can also cause similar symptoms. DED can also spread through infected tree roots, so owners should remove diseased trees right away and dispose of them either via wood chipper, or by fire if possible, as the elm bark beetles can survive in the wood to attack healthy trees.