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Concerns over Dutch Elm disease

Signs spotted on ancient tree in Ramsey

A "devastating" disease could be putting the Island's elm tree population at risk.

Concerns came after signs of Dutch elm disease was spotted on the Island's oldest example.

At 300 years old, the tree in Ramsey has had to have parts of it removed to try and prevent further infection.

Dutch elm disease is caused by a fungus, which can be carried by beetles and other insects moving between trees.

This leads the virus to spread at a rapid rate, killing trees that are infected.

Around 20 million of the UK's stock were lost to the disease in 1992.

DEFA Minister Geoffrey Boot is serious in making sure a similar outbreak doesn't happen on the island.

He says "everyone in our community has a role to play in helping prevent the spread of this devastating disease. If you spot a tree that seems unhealthy please 'See It, Snap It, Send It' to DEFA."

Signs of Dutch elm disease include:

  • Wilting leaves and young shoots
  • Discolouration of leaves
  • Retention of dead leaves or bare twigs and branches.

Pictures of an infected tree and a description of its location can be sent to the department by email at dutchelmdisease.defa@gov.im or by Whatsapp on 07624 490713.

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