Signs and Symptoms of Dutch Elm Disease

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The early symptoms of the disease appear from the latter half of June to the middle of July, when the leaves on one or more branches may wilt, droop and curl. The leaves then turn brown and usually remain on the tree. If the tree is infected later in the summer, the leaves will droop, turn yellow and drop prematurely. Late season infections are easily confused with normal seasonal changes in leaf color.

Early Symptoms - green, wilting leaves
Mid Summer - Clinging, brown, wilted leaves
Tree showing flagging

All of these symptoms are accompanied by brown staining in the sapwood that can be seen by removing the bark of infected twigs.

The left piece of wood shows the brown staining of the sapwood from a new infection of DED; the central piece was infected the previous year by DED and the far right piece is not infected.

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

For information about STOPDED or Dutch elm disease contact at STOPDED Hotline: 1-877-837-ELMS (3567)

Other Documents in the Series

  Do You Have Elms
Firewood Can be DED-ly
Dutch Elm Disease Cycle
Signs and Symptoms of Dutch Elm Disease - Current Document
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.