Aberdeen continues fight against DED with 60 elm fellings

Aberdeen City Council says it has had to take down "about 60" trees suffering from Dutch elm disease since the start of a programme this year.

Image: Graeme Churchard (CC BY2.0)
Image: Graeme Churchard (CC BY2.0)

It said that in all, there are "about 400" diseased or dying trees that its arboricultural service needs to address, which are "mainly beside roads" but also in parks, gardens and play areas.

Five streets will have to be closed where several trees require felling, it added.

Easlier estimates put the number of DED-hit trees in the city at 50, but more have been discovered subsequently.

The council's communities, housing and infrastructure convener Councillor Yvonne Allan said: "Our arboricultural team has made excellent progress at felling the dying elm trees as we must do what we can to try and stop the disease from spreading.

"Our priority is to have safe and healthy trees for residents and visitors to enjoy in all parts of the city as part of our beautiful and vibrant green spaces."

Dutch elm disease has killed more than 60 million British elms in two epidemics and continues to spread today.

The first epidemic from the 1920s onwards was caused by fungus Ophiostoma ulmi which killed 10-40% of UK elm trees.

The second and ongoing epidemic is caused by the more aggressive and related fungus O. novo-ulmi, introduced into Britain in the 1960s. It is spread by elm bark beetles (Scolytus scolytus) and it infects all of Britain’s elm species.

According to Forest Research, Dutch elm disease continues to push northwards in Scotland, particularly on the east coast north of Aberdeen.

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