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 Last Update 02/04/07
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Sidewalks, utility lines, houses, poor soil, polluted air - it is a wonder that our trees do as well as they do. We can help our trees thrive and grow by managing some of the obstacles they face.


Physical Obstacles  

Due to the sheer size of a mature elm, things tend to get in its way.  The easiest way to avoid conflicts with physical obstacles is to plan around them.  This means care when planting.   

A young tree always looks lonely in a garden. But that spindly litle tree will eventually grow to be more than 30 metres tall with a crown that will engulf everything nearby.  Elm trees should be planted at least 5 metres (15 feet) away from houses.

Never plant an American Elm under utility lines. The result will be frequent and costly pruning.



When doing construction around an elm tree, care must be taken to avoid cutting the root system.  

It is difficult for the tree to close root wounds. Cutting roots can leave the tree vulnerable to attack by a fungal disease such as Dutch Elm Disease. 

If cutting the root is unavoidable, attempt to make clean cuts exposing as little surface area as possible. 


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