|Dutch elm disease|
|a disease of elm trees caused by the fungus Ceratocystis ulmi and characterized by withering of the foliage and stems and eventual death of the parts of the tree above ground|
|Dutch elm disease (dŭch) Pronunciation Key
A disease of elm trees caused by the fungus Ceratocystis ulmi, spread by the European elm bark beetle Scolytus multistriatus and by the contact of the roots of healthy elms with those of infected trees. It produces brown streaks in the wood and results in the eventual death of the tree. No cure has been discovered, but prevention methods include the injection of insecticide into healthy trees and the destruction of all elms in infected areas.
dutch elm disease
widespread fungoid killer of elms, first described in The Netherlands. The causal fungus, Ophiostoma ulmi (also known as Ceratocystis ulmi), was probably introduced into Europe from Asia during World War I. The disease was first identified in the United States in 1930. A federal eradication campaign in the late 1930s and early '40s sharply reduced the numbers of infected elms but could not stop the disease's spread into regions wherever the very susceptible American elm (Ulmus americana) grows.
Learn more about Dutch elm disease with a free trial on Britannica.com.