Dutch Elm Disease Cycle

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DED is caused by a fungus that clogs the elm tree's water conducting system, causing its leaves to wilt and the tree to die, usually within one or two seasons. It doesn't infect other tree species.
DED fungus
The fungus is spread from one elm tree to another mainly by the smaller European elm bark beetle and the native elm bark beetle. The beetles breed under the bark of dead or dying elm wood. The new generation of beetles emerge from a diseased tree. Carrying the fungal spores with them, the beetles infest healthy elms on which they feed, thereby spreading the disease.
European elm bark beetle

Native elm bark beetle

Go to the Alberta Dutch Elm Disease Prevention page for more information about prevention efforts in the province.

Other Documents in the Series

  Do You Have Elms
Firewood Can be DED-ly
Dutch Elm Disease Cycle - Current Document
Signs and Symptoms of Dutch Elm Disease
Dutch Elm Disease Sampling Procedures
Dutch Elm Disease: Signs of Beetle Activity
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Shelley Barkley.
This information published to the web on June 14, 2001.
Last Reviewed/Revised on December 4, 2018.