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Dutch Elm Disease and lumber

3001 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  mojapitt
I'm not finding a lot of information with a web search. Maybe I'm just not looking in the right places. So I thought I'd ask the folks here…

Kalispell, MT is cutting down some 100 year old elms that have succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease. I'm not an arborist, but I hate to see that large lumber go to waste. In talking with the city parks people, they are considering requests to harvest the lumber, but they want a plan for when and how debarking and storing the lumber will happen.

What I can find suggests that removing the bark is step one, getting rid of the bark is step two, and burning the wood before winter is over is step three. The local beetles that serve as vector for the fungus emerge in the spring, but apparently they don't survive if the bark is removed. The fungus survives in the wood, though, so there is still concern about keeping the lumber away from live trees, as I understand it. Also, there isn't any advice about what to do with the bark. I'm assuming it needs to be burned, but that could be a lot of bark to burn, I'm thinking.

Does anyone have experience with saving lumber from infected elm trees? And… will the tree yield the same kind of beautiful lumber as a healthy tree?

Thanks for any information or links to better resources.
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Just a thought, cuz I did this once … go to your local College or University and talk to your Entomology department and there is likely an Arborist professor there as well (or even an Arboriculture department).

You would expect these guys are all stuffy and such … they weren't. They were extremely helpful ... almost falling over themselves helpful. One even volunteered to come to my house to identify a tree for me, but we settled on some pictures and a sample branch the next day as a I passed the college.
The lumber is still very beautiful. Get it if you can.
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