Council urges residents to join the fight against Elm disease

The council is calling on residents to help tackle a higher than normal outbreak of Elm disease.

The infection, which could wipe out thousands of our historic Elms if not brought under control, has already started killing off previously healthy trees throughout the city.

Our tree experts say the disease, brought on this year by the recent hot weather, is beginning to spread through many of the city’s 17,000 Elms.

Please become the council's extra eyes

Cllr Anne Pissaridou, chair of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee, said: “Elm disease is fairly easy to spot if you know the signs and what to look for. 

“We’re asking you to become an extra pair of eyes and help flag up any trees – on both public and private land – you believe may be infected.

“We can then take immediate action to inspect the tree, and if infected, remove it and stop the disease spreading.

“Your swift action could help save the lives of many of our Elm trees.”

How to tell if a tree is diseased

• Symptoms start to show in early June, and the disease season lasts until September

• Early infection signs are a wilting and browning / yellowing of parts of the foliage, or greenery, anywhere on the tree

• An Elm tree losing its leaves (thinning foliage) in early summer while other Elms around it are still full and healthy looking.


How Elm disease starts

• Fungi that is transferred from diseased to healthy Elms by Elm bark beetles 

• The disease being transferred underground between trees through the roots 

• New trees growing from infected fragments following the removal of a diseased tree.

Residents can also help by not buying Elm logs for fuel or any garden ornaments or seating made of Elm which may already be infected by the bark beetles.

If you suspect an Elm tree is diseased, please email, ideally with a photograph of the tree, a close up of the symptoms and a location including street name, building, house number/name or park with approximate location.

More information on Elm disease, and how you can help, can be found on our website.