Dutch elm disease outbreak threatens Brighton's trees

Diseased elm - image:Deb Collins
Diseased elm - image:Deb Collins

Brighton has seen an "extremely worrying" outbreak of Dutch elm disease (DED) which threatens its long-held status as a refuge for the trees against the devastating disease, the city council has said.

Four elms on Old Steine Gardens were found to be infected with DED and will be chopped down as part of the city’s disease control strategy. Another 25m-tall specimen on the University of Brighton's Falmer campus has already been felled, while "sporadic outbreaks" elsewhere in the city are being monitored.

The chair of the council’s environment committee Councillor Pete West said: "This localised infection is extremely worrying. It is more than likely down to imported fuel logs or an elm tree that is already infected by elm bark beetles which carry the fungus."

The council has urged residents with either elm trees in poor health or stockpiles of elm logs to get in touch immediately, and is offering inspections and, if need be, disposal and replacement, for free.

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