Diseases of Lacebark Elm Trees

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The Lacebark elm tree is also known the Chinese elm. This medium sized tree produces small leaves and has bark that peels. At maturity, the Lacebark elm tree reaches 40 to 50 feet in height. Certain fungal and bacterial diseases affect the health and appearance of the Lacebark elm tree.


Wetwood is a disease that is caused by a complex of bacteria. This disease is characterized by slime that oozes from the tree, as a result of a build-up of pressure inside the tree. This slime is very alkaline and often produces an unpleasant odor during the growing season. According to the University of Illinois Extension, little information is available about the life cycle of this disease and there are currently no chemical controls that treat wetwood effectively. Placing a plastic pipe to drain the slime from the tree is often effective and helps avoid any additional tree trunk damage.


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Elm Yellows

Lacebark elm trees can suffer from a condition known as elm yellows. Wilting and yellowing of leaves are often the first noticeable symptoms of elm yellows and foliar symptoms most commonly appear during the summer months.Eventually, symptoms such as discoloration of inner bark, branch death and tree death occur. The University of Illinois states that elm yellows is often mistaken for Dutch elm disease. Lacebark elm trees that exhibit external symptoms of elm yellows have already suffered a great deal of internal damage. Removal of tree remains and tree stump is an effective method of reducing the spread of this disease to other elm trees. Currently, there are no chemicals to control elm yellows in Lacebark elm trees.

Cotton Root Rot

Cotton root rot is a disease that is caused by the fungus known as Phymatotrichopsis omnivora. Cotton root rot is also known as Texas root rot.The symptoms most commonly associated with cotton root rot include wilting of leaves, fast decline of the tree and rotting roots. Cotton root rot spreads at a rapid rate during the warm summer months. Lacebark elm trees can die within just a few days of infection, often with their leaves still intact, states the University of Arizona. Currently there are no prevention or treatment methods in treating this disease in Lacebark elms.



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