Elm Tree Yellowing? Consider Having It Removed

Elm trees can be absolutely gorgeous. They tend to have an attractive, round shape, and when they are mature, they can cast a lot of shade on an area. However, if your elm tree ever starts to turn yellow and lose its leaves prematurely, your best option is often to have the tree removed. Chances are, your elm has a disease called Dutch elm disease, which is almost always deadly. Here's a closer look at this condition and why removing the tree is the best solution in most cases.

What is Dutch elm disease?

Dutch elm disease is a fungal infection caused by two related fungal species. These fungi find their way into a tree's deeper wood tissues, often through a hole made by an insect called the elm bark beetle. Elm bark beetles often carry fungal spores on their bodies, and they introduce them to the tree when they burrow into it. 

The fungi that cause Dutch elm disease soon replicate and invade the tree's vascular system — the tissues that carry water from the roots, up to the branches and leaves. Eventually, this cuts off the flow of water, which causes the leaves to turn yellow and fall off. Soon after, the branches themselves die.

Why is removing the tree the right option?

Trees with Dutch elm disease don't usually recover once their leaves start turning yellow. It may be a few months until the tree dies completely, or it might be a couple of years. So ultimately, if you leave the tree in place, you will end up with a dead tree in your yard. Removing it before it dies has a few benefits. For one, removing the tree at this stage helps ensure it does not drop dead branches all over your yard and structures. You're also removing a source of the fungi, which will reduce the spread of disease to other elm trees in the area.

An elm tree with Dutch elm disease should be removed carefully to prevent the spreading of the fungal spores. The wood should be burned to kill any lingering fungi or elm bark beetles. 

If your elm tree is turning yellow, don't just ignore this problem. Have a tree removal company come take a look. They can confirm whether Dutch elm disease is to blame, and if needed, make plans to remove the tree before the situation gets any worse.