Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Gardeners urged to check for Dutch elm disease

American garden and greenhouse enthusiasts have been warned to watch out for signs of Dutch elm disease.

The fungus can attach to American elms, cutting off their source of hydration by blocking their vascular system from the inside.

According to the De Soto Explorer, the disease is transferred by two species of beetles that feed in the trees, or when the roots of a healthy tree graft to those of an infected specimen.

It explained that the first recorded case of Dutch elm disease in Kansas was in 1957 – approximately three decades after it arrived in the US.

While prevention and treatment can be expensive, a laboratory test can cost as little as $5 and will confirm whether a tree is infected.

Symptoms include a gradual yellowing of leaves, usually from the tips of the branches inward.

The tree then begins to die out as it is starved of water, with the leaves falling off and wood drying out.

Alternatives that are resistant to the disease include Siberian elm and Chinese elm.

Meanwhile, the Woodinville Weekly recently published an article focusing on growing your own herbs.