Dutch Elm & Oak Wilt

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City Inspection & Control

Dutch elm disease and oak wilt are infectious tree diseases controlled annually under the provisions of City Ordinance 1055. A designated tree inspector hired by the City of Edina and certified by the State of Minnesota has the lawful right to enter upon private property for the purpose of inspecting for and controlling the spread of Dutch elm disease and oak wilt.

Although the biological make-up of these two diseases varies, the removal of infected trees is a necessary and proven method of minimizing the spread of both. While removal alone will not stop the spread of disease, without it, the instances of tree loss throughout the City would be greatly magnified.
  1. Dutch Elm Disease
  2. Oak Wilt

Dutch Elm Disease

Dutch elm disease is a fungal disease spread by the elm bark beetle. Once an infected elm tree is identified, it is marked, (usually with a green dot or ring on the trunk), and the property owner is notified. Property owners are responsible for removing diseased trees at their own expense within three weeks of notification. This time period is essential because the entire tree will quickly be colonized by more elm bark beetles, which mature quickly and are able to further spread the disease to other elms in the area.


Dutch elm disease may also spread through connected roots from one elm to another. In this instance, it may be advisable to mechanically sever the roots as soon as possible before the infected tree is removed.

Chemical Treatment

As stated earlier, removal of infected elms protects the remaining healthy elms. Individual elms can also be protected with fungicide injections. Many years of performing such a procedure has shown a high rate of success. The expense of this procedure, which typically needs to be repeated every three years, may limit its feasibility.


During the summer months, the City Forester routinely inspects the community for Dutch elm disease. Residents are also encouraged to watch their own elms. If Dutch elm disease is detected early in an infection stage, it is possible at times to prune it out. Typical symptoms to look for are yellowing of leaves - usually in the upper crown - followed by leaf browning, curling and falling to the ground. If residents suspect Dutch elm disease, they may contact the City Forester for an inspection.