Preventative measures: According to Stack et al. (1996), Dutch elm disease cannot be eliminated once it begins. A year-round community sanitation program is the key to slowing the spread of the disease. The most available control is removing infected trees and promptly destroying the wood. If infected wood is to be used as firewood, it should first be debarked. Trenching to disrupt root grafts is also recommended to protect healthy elm trees near diseased ones. In urban situations, insecticide spraying of high value trees has been effective in keeping bark beetles from attacking susceptible trees. In ornamental plantings, suggested control measures include planting trees further apart to prevent root grafts or choosing mixed tree species. The use of resistant selections for new plantations is strongly recommended.
The American Phytopathological Society (APS) offers on its website illustrated lessons to introduce the symptoms and signs, pathogen biology, disease cycle, epidemiology, disease management, and scientific, economic and social significance of major plant diseases. Please follow this link
Dutch elm disease for details.
Location Specific Management Information
The then Ministry of Forestry initiated a response involving the removal and destruction of infected elms. Restrictions were put in place, still valid today, prohibiting the movement of any produce of elm trees from or into the greater Auckland area. Ongoing surveys were conducted and a database was designed to assist in the monitoring of all known elm locations in the area.
A pheromone trapping system for the vector was established in the 1990/91 season. Capture of the spore-carrying beetles assisted in determining the distribution of Dutch elm disease. The disease is also known to spread through root grafting or transportation of infected elm material such as firewood. For nine years, the annual Dutch elm disease programme involved three disease detection surveys of all recorded elm locations in Auckland, vector pheromone trapping and removal of infected trees. During that period, disease levels declined with no "new" infected tree locations detected during the 1996/97, 1997/98 and 1998/99 seasons.
Due to the reduced disease levels, beetle trapping was discontinued for the 1999/00 season and an "asymptomatic" (contained infection) survey was initiated to determine the incidence of the fungus within the inner growth rings of elm trees. Please follow this link for more details and updates on the management of the Dutch Elm disease in New Zealand.
1. D’Arcy, C.J.. 2000. Dutch elm disease. The Plant Health Instructor. DOI: 10.1094/PHI-I-2000-0721-02
Summary: The American Phytopathological Society (APS) offers on its website illustrated lessons to introduce the symptoms and signs, pathogen biology, disease cycle, epidemiology, disease management, and scientific, economic and social significance of major plant diseases. The website will also offer basic information on the history, biology, survival, dissemination, host-parasite interactions, epidemiology and management of the major groups of plant pathogens. This section is in development.
APS Introductory Plant Pathology Resources is available from http://www.apsnet.org/education/IntroPlantPath/top.html. This page is available from: http://www.apsnet.org/education/LessonsPlantPath/DutchElm/default.htm [Accessed 7 November 2006]
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