Vaccinating an elm tree?

AboutToGetDustyApril 2, 2013

Our tree guy wants us to vaccinate our Dutch Elm. It's very big, makes our backyard. That said, our neighbor has a sad-looking Dutch Elm that is suspected of having Dutch Elm Disease. Since our elm is near a lot of other trees (including elms) where two rows of homes' backyards meet, I'm thinking many of my neighbors do not vaccinate, never mind ever check, their elms. Would you spend the money to vaccinate if you were me? I want to keep my tree going strong, but it's surrounded by the backs of backyards with trees that others ignore.

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I'd certainly try it if the cost wasn't prohibitive; mature American elms are such beautiful trees! You should be aware, though, that vaccination seems to have achieved (at best) mixed results -- at least one American study found that it had no real benefit in preventing the transmission of DED in trees in its study group.

If you do lose the tree, I suggest that you replace it with a hackberry. It's something of a lookalike that has edible fruit.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 6:08PM
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Thanks. It's so expensive to vaccinate every other year, when it's not a 100% bet! And it's irreplaceable. Giant, gorgeous tree - my tree-loving relatives are guessing it's 125+ years old?!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 7:54PM
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You might think about contacting the U of T gardening staff to find out how they've managed to keep their beauties alive. It's been a few years since I've lived in the Toronto area, but I enjoyed walking on the grounds of the downtown campus and admiring the mature elm trees scattered around it. I can't remember seeing any other areas of the city that had such large American elms. I find myself saddened by the fact that Alberta has become something of a refuge for threatened eastern species -- our urban forests here now have greater numbers of threatened species (elms, ash, butternut) than you can find in their native provinces!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 12:37AM
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