Dutch Elm Disease

Dutch Elm Disease

What is Dutch Elm disease?

Dutch elm disease has killed millions of elm trees in the UK since its arrival in 1971.  In partnership with other local authorities, a control zone was set up in 1973 to limit the spread of the disease in East Sussex and the surrounding areas.  

  • East Sussex now contains the only population of mature English elms in the world

  • There are now many more elms inside the East Sussex zone than when the disease arrived.  this includes a number of large veteran elms

If you see a suspected case of Dutch elm disease, please let us know.  Vigilance and timely action by our Dutch Elm Disease control team is the only way of limiting the spread of this disease.  

What to look out for

During the summer and early autumn, infected trees can be identified by yellowing and shrivelled leaves.  Towards the tips of infected branches, the leaves will be brown as the infection gradually spreads down the infected branch.

The Forestry Commission website has information, including how to diagnose the disease.