Q.Half dead elm trees
Hello, we have 3 elm trees next to each other that all appear to have suffered over the winter. They were in leaf when we moved in last year but have not not really come back this summer. There’s no sign of buds at the end of the existing branches but the thicker branches and the trunk have new shoots coming directly out of them, almost as if the tree is trying to start again. The garden is full of shoots coming up from the roots so it appears there’s life in the tree but I’m wondering what we should do to help? I’ve considered reducing the height of the trees right down to prevent them coming down over the winter but want to get an expert’s opinion first. I’ve ask d a few gardeners and they don’t know what’s happened.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
This can happen with a particularly wet or warmer than usual winter, or an excessively wet spring with no dry period. Elms have many diseases that they can contract.
The best recovery from here will be to cut anything down that is dead. Doing so will prevent those taller branches from falling on people or objects nearby.
The next thing that you will want to address is what is going on with your soil. Your local extension service will be able to sample your soil to let you know what is wrong with it. This link will help you to find the closest extension service to you: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/extension-search
This article will address several common issues, and what to do next: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/elm/diseases-of-elm-trees.htm