March 27, 2008
Tude asked for a post on trees and their diseases! But one post could not possibly cover all the trees and their diseases – so this should be the beginning of a whole series!There are all sorts of tree diseases like:
LeafspotsThese diseases are not specific to one type of tree. There are other diseases like Oak Wilt and Dutch Elm Disease that are specific to particular varieties of trees. Oh! I am NOT a tree expert! So you will just get what I can cobble together off the web! Many of the tree diseases are not fatal to the tree – but some often are.So – lets start off with Dutch Elm Disease.
Dutch elm disease is a fungal disease of elm trees which is spread by the elm bark beetle. Although believed to be originally native to Asia, it has been accidentally introduced into America and Europe, where it has devastated native populations of elms which had not had the opportunity to evolve resistance to the disease. The name Dutch elm disease refers to the identification of the disease in the 1920s in the Netherlands; the disease is not specific to the Dutch Elm hybrid.
The causative agents of Dutch Elm Disease are ascomycete microfungi. Three species are now recognized, Ophiostoma ulmi, which afflicted Europe in 1910, reaching North America on imported timber in 1928, Ophiostoma himal-ulmi, a species endemic to the western Himalaya. A third, extremely virulent species, Ophiostoma novo-ulmi, was first described in Europe and North America in the 1940s and has devastated elms in both areas since the late 1960s (Spooner & Roberts, 2005). The origin of O. novo-ulmi remains unknown (Spooner & Roberts, 2005), but may have arisen as a hybrid between O. ulmi and O. himal-ulmi  The new species was widely believed to have originated in China, but a comprehensive survey there in 1986 found no trace of it, although elm bark beetles were very common. – wikipedia
In the late 1960′s and early 1970′s Dutch Elm Disease killed off many trees in my grandfather’s home town – including a very large one in his back yard! It was a beautiful old tree – that was probably there long before the house was built near the turn of the last century (around 1900).
But there was another much more famous tree that survived the initial onslaught of Dutch Elm Disease in its area, only to be stricken by the disease many years later. Some thought it was imuune.
The Buckley Elm – September, 2000The national champion American elm known as “the Buckley Elm,” used to reside on a farm near Buckley, Michigan. It was estimated to be about 300 years old and was approximately 23 feet in circumference. In September, 2000, it was diagnosed with Dutch Elm Disease. It was dead by September of the next year. Go here for more details and pictures on the Buckley Elm.
There is not a whole good to say about about tree diseases. There is one fun thing though. When you go to your doctor with an ailment, tell him or her that you think you have a tree disease. For example, Dutch Elm Disease is caused by Ophiostoma novo-ulmi. When you go to the doctor, tell him you think you are infected with Ophiostoma novo-ulmi! It should give him something to do while he is waiting for your lab results to come back. Yup, doc! I think I have Dutch Elm Disease! Its also fun to claim to have grass diseases – like St. Augustine Decline.
Dead Turkey Joke of the Day
A traveling salesman is driving down a country road when he comes across a farmer who is standing in his orchard, hoisting pigs into the apple trees with ropes. He stops. “What are you doing?” the salesman asks. “I’m feeding the pigs,” answers the farmer, incredulous that someone could ask a question with such an obvious answer. “Well,” says the salesman, “why don’t you let the apples fall to the ground, gather them up in baskets, and feed the pigs that way?” The farmer ponders, then says, “Hmmmm. Yes, I guess I could do it that way. But what would be the point?” The salesman is a bit exasperated: “Well, it would save time, wouldn’t it?” The farmer ponders again. “Yes,” he says after a pause, “I guess it would save time. But what’s time to a pig?”
Today’s YouTube Tune
Have you ever had an exotic sounding ailment?