Dutch Elm Disease

Asked July 29, 2019, 9:00 AM EDT

I have elms with varying stages of Dutch Elm Disease. I didn't recognize it at first. Some didn't green up this spring, some with some green, some newly infected, all in close proximity. How urgent is it that I remove the infected trees now? How many life cycles do the beetles go through in a summer? If I cut down an infected tree now, are the beetles more likely to move to a live tree, or are they in the larva stage now and unlikely to infect another tree. Is it better to wait until late fall or winter to cut them down so the beetles and larva would be dormant? Are the stumps a threat to healthy trees other than by root grafting? Shearing of the roots is not practical in this case. I have many, many elms on my property, and would like to nip this in the bud if possible. Is it safe to saw the trunks into lumber, as long as all the bark is burnt? Any special treatment of stumps? Would covering the stumps with dirt contain the disease?

St. Louis County Minnesota dutch elm disease elm trees

1 Response

The following bulletin contains a comprehensive discussion of Dutch elm disease and how to control it. A careful reading will probably answer most of your questions.

However, because you are a custodian of many elm trees and are highly motivated to protect them, we recommend asking a forester or tree care professional to help you devise a management and disease control plan. To find the help you need, contact staff at the nearest office of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry.


Cloquet Area Office
1604 Hwy. 33 South
Cloquet, MN 55720
phone:218-878-5640

Two Harbors Area Office
1568 Hwy 2
Two Harbors, MN 55616
phone:218-834-1420