Tree care #851333

Asked September 26, 2023, 5:37 PM EDT

Purchased a new build home 8 years ago. Within the front lawn area that fronts on the main street there is a tree planter strip. This planter strip holds planted Elm trees and these trees are mulched and watered in a strip zone that is less than 6 feet wide. Trees receive water from the lawn sprinkler system. This strip is bordered by a road way and concrete curb on street side and bordered by sidewalk on the opposite side. Some of the trees have beautiful green foliage and are taller than the other surrounding trees. An observation reveals tree root heaving of the side walks. The trees in question appear to be significantly smaller and have lighter green leaves. What can be done to diagnose and treat these affected trees?

Delaware County Ohio

Expert Response

Street Trees Part 8 – Elms, Ulmus and Zelkova | BYGL (
Dutch Elm Disease | Ohioline (
Elm Yellows: The Re-Emergence of an Old Killer | BYGL (

Elms have been developed to be resistant to Dutch Elm Disease but they are still susceptible to a disease known as "Elm Yellows."  The above websites will provide some information on this disease.  If this is what your trees have, there is no treatment available and the trees will soon die.  The raising of the sidewalk from the roots suggest that either the growing zone is too narrow for the tree or there is some material (a rock, building material, etc.) under the tree that is preventing the roots from being nourished.  In either case, the tree will not likely do well in the future and it should probably be removed.  An arborist should be able to confirm whether "Elm Yellows" is present in your trees.

Bill J. Replied September 27, 2023, 7:32 AM EDT

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