Northfield Township Tim Rueckert
ROAD DISTRICT Highway Commissioner

Dutch Elm Disease

Dutch Elm disease is caused by a fungus (Ceratocystis ulmi) which clogs the vascular system of elms causing leaves to turn yellow at a rapid pace, ultimately resulting in death of the tree. The disease is transmitted from tree to tree by a small bark beetle that can travel several blocks, as well as through root grafts. To date, no cure has been developed for this devastating disease.

Effective tree loss control measures include the prompt removal of infected trees, good continuing tree sanitation (trimming should be avoided between April and October), and in some cases use of approved fungicides as control measures, not cures! Prompt removal of the diseased tree is the most practical alternative to help prevent infection of other healthy elms. Once yellowing and curling of leaves appear, selective trimming or use of fungicide injections is typically hopeless if more than 10-20% of the tree is showing stress/infection.

If you suspect an elm tree has telltale premature yellowing or withering leaves/branches, please notify the Northfield Township Road District at 724-7055. If Dutch Elm disease is found on a tree in the right-of-way, the Road District will remove it within 10 days. Should the tree be on your private property, the responsibility to remove the tree is the homeowners and should be cut down in a timely fashion.