The best way to control DED if it is already confirmed in your tree is through good sanitation. Remove diseased and dying elms and elm wood piles by chipping the wood to disrupt the elm bark beetles’ lifecycle. Unfortunately, good sanitation occurs after the trees are already dead or dying.
If you have a high-quality landscape healthy elm and would like to preserve it, there is a preventative chemical injection that helps keep the disease from taking hold in the tree. Many tree care contractors offer preventative DED injections, which are performed in the summer and must be repeated every other to every third year.
Things to consider when deciding to inject your elm:
- Is the tree structurally sound and in good health?
- Does the tree shade a large portion of your yard and/or the east or west side of your home, offering potential energy savings in the summer?
- Does the tree add significant aesthetic and real estate value to your property?
If you would like more information on how to diagnose and manage DED, visit the University of Minnesota Dutch elm disease webpage.