The city of McPherson is addressing the spread of Dutch Elm Disease and is asking local residents to remove infected trees as they are identified. According to City Forester Kody Kraemer, the disease is caused by a fungus and specifically affects American elm trees.

“The disease vector is a beetle that carries the fungus from infected trees to healthy trees,” said Kraemer. “Because Dutch Elm Disease can easily spread to neighboring trees, sanitation is very important to tree removal situations.”

Kraemer is responsible for identifying diseased trees and working with the city’s code enforcement officer to expedite proper tree removal. City code (F-V-Chapter 90-75) states, “all dead and/or diseased trees, branches on any private property or parking areas abutting private property are declared to be a nuisance affecting inhabitants of the City. It is prohibited to maintain such a tree in that condition.”

Kraemer assists residents in identifying diseased trees and offers advice on the removal and replacement of those trees. He indicated proactive measures are available to protect healthy American elm trees, but the cons include expense, reapplication every two to three years and the need to hire an arborist to complete the work.

Kraemer encourages residents to participate in the Tree Reimbursement Program, which is available to assist with overall tree replacement costs. The City will pay 50 percent of the tree cost up to $100 per tree. Payment is limited to two trees per year, and the tree must be purchased from an approved nursery. For more information visit