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Billscot

What is Wrong with my Camperdown Elm

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Hi. I have a mature Camperdown or Weeping Elm. This Spring/Summer it is showing signs of disease or senescence. A few limbs have died with leaf buds produced but not developing. Other limbs show only partly developed leaves with the leaves curled and lacking colour. Other limbs appear normal with healthy leaves. Some leaves develop a grey, hard, papery, scaly appearance. There is a large woody gall halfway up the tree. This tree was healthy last spring/summer. The winter and spring has been unusually wet here. I live in Tasmania, Australia. I am wondering whether it is a disease or just old age which is leading to these symptoms and if a disease then is it treatable?

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What a shame. First thing would be ground care, strip out the turf around it and mulch 2" with rotted chip. Elms are a valuable butterfly resource. That will help ease its water demand and stop taking nutrients from the tree. K

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We have silver leaf in Tasmania. The underside of the leaf shows no damage. The damage is only apparent on the upper surface. If it is silver leaf then what is the best treatment?

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6 hours ago, Billscot said:

We have silver leaf in Tasmania. The underside of the leaf shows no damage. The damage is only apparent on the upper surface. If it is silver leaf then what is the best treatment?

I think I have only come across it on prunus and that is to remove the affected parts and sterilise tools. Also only prune in high summer to prevent it getting in. You need a plant pathologist to advise and I'm not one.

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Hello Billscot,

It can be a fungus due to high humidity as other guys said.

But reading this section made me think another thing

11 hours ago, Billscot said:

 Other limbs show only partly developed leaves with the leaves curled and lacking colour

It can be the effect of one or two types of herbicide applied in or near your garden transported by the wind onto the leaf.

I often see that kind of damage on trees near agricoltural fields

Edited by Alberto

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7 minutes ago, Alberto said:

Hello Billscot,

It can be a fungus due to high humidity as other guys said.

But reading this section made me think another thing

It can be the effect of one or two types of herbicide applied in or near your garden transported by the wind onto the leaf.

I often see that kind of damage on trees near agricoltural fields

Hi Alberto and thanks for your comments - interesting point about the herbicide and I will ask the surrounding landowner if they have been spraying at the time the damage became apparent in spring - no other plants or trees in the garden have been affected though which leads me to believe it is a disease of the Elm. 

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Sometimes the draft of herbicide can affect only one or two leaf of a tree or an entire side, all depends on the interaction of the droplets with the wind.

In the picture of your tree only one side show the damage and it gradually fade to the right of the crown

 

11 minutes ago, Billscot said:

which leads me to believe it is a disease of the Elm. 

It can be a combination of herbicide and other things

 

9 hours ago, Billscot said:

The underside of the leaf shows no damage. The damage is only apparent on the upper surface

watching this picture on pc make me think of a damage caused by the larvae of some insect. Unfortunatly i cant tell you more on this, i don't know which insect lives in Tasmania  🙂

Btw i think that the 80%-90% of the damage comes from an herbicide draft (i've seen a tree damaged by a draft coming from 1,5 - 2km far from sprayed crop)

 

To help the tree i would suggest to spray it with a biostimulant, apply some organic fertilizer inside and 2 meter/6ft out of the drip line of the crown. Also wait to remove the death branches to be sure on how far they are death.

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