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Detecting Dutch Elm Disease and How Tree Service Helps

June 6, 2023 by Jose Guerrero

Detecting Dutch Elm Disease and How Tree Service Helps, Laguna Beach, CA

Dutch Elm Disease (DED) poses a significant threat to the elm tree population in and around Irvine, CA. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of this devastating fungal infection is crucial for effective management. This article will explore how to identify Dutch Elm Disease, discuss its symptoms, and emphasize the importance of seeking professional tree services.

Understanding Dutch Elm Disease

Dutch Elm Disease results from the fungus Ophiostoma ulmi or Ophiostoma novo-ulmi, primarily spread by elm bark beetles. Infected trees suffer from a blockage in their vascular system, impeding water and nutrient flow and eventually leading to their demise.

Elms commonly affected by Dutch Elm Disease:

  • American Elm (Ulmus americana): A beloved tree species highly susceptible to the disease.
  • Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila): Although it shows some resistance, it can still succumb to infection.
  • Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia): This species exhibits variable resistance and can fall victim to Dutch Elm Disease.

Signs of Dutch Elm Disease

Early signs and symptoms:

  • Leaf wilting and yellowing: The uppermost branches show the first signs of infection.
  • “Flagging” branches: Affected branches display wilted leaves, which gradually turn brown or yellow, eventually becoming dry and brittle.
  • Premature leaf drop: Leaves may fall off the tree prematurely, typically before autumn.

Advanced symptoms:

  • Brown discoloration in the vascular system: Peeling back the bark reveals dark brown streaks in the sapwood, indicating the presence of the fungus.
  • Fungal mats: In late summer, small black or dark green fungal mats may develop on the bark, accompanied by a pungent odor.

The Benefits of Professional Tree Service

Accurate diagnosis:

  • Are you searching “tree service near me”? Professional arborists in Irvine are trained to recognize the distinct symptoms of Dutch Elm Disease and distinguish them from other tree ailments or stressors.
  • Early detection and accurate diagnosis enable timely intervention, potentially saving other nearby healthy trees.

Preventing the spread of infection:

Professional tree service providers possess the knowledge and expertise to employ various techniques to limit the spread of Dutch Elm Disease.

Implementing proper sanitation practices, destroying infected wood, and conducting preventive tree pruning, can help mitigate the risk of further contamination.

Safe and efficient removal:

  • Infected trees pose safety hazards, as their weakened branches can break and fall unexpectedly, endangering people and property.
  • Professional tree removal services ensure safe and efficient removal and disposal of infected trees, limiting the risk of accidents and property damage.

Preserving Irvine’s urban canopy:

  • Trees offer numerous benefits, such as shade, improved air quality, and aesthetic value, contributing to the quality of life in Irvine.
  • By engaging professional tree services, infected trees can be promptly and safely removed, making room for replanting with disease-resistant species and thus preserving Irvine’s urban canopy.


Dutch Elm Disease poses a significant threat to the elm tree population in Irvine, CA. Timely identification, accurate diagnosis, and safe removal of infected trees protect the community’s health and beauty and contribute to the preservation of Irvine’s cherished urban canopy. Let us take a proactive stance against Dutch Elm Disease and ensure a greener future. Residents can effectively combat its spread by recognizing the signs of this devastating disease and seeking professional Irvine, Costa Mesa, or Huntington Beach tree service. Call (714)770-1850M today for a free JLG estimate.

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Institute of Real Estate Management
Tree Care Industry of America
Board Certified Master Arborist ISA
Community Associations Institute
BOMA International
Golf Course Superintendents Association
California Association of Community Management