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Little Dutch Elm Disease on Island 9 September 2004

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Hon Bill Henderson MHK, is pleased to report that the number of the Island's elm trees affected with Dutch Elm Disease remains very low.

Mr Henderson said that the Island's elms are a significant part of its outstanding natural heritage, and now represent a unique tree population in Western Europe. In fact, Dr. David Rose, an eminent specialist in this field, has reported that the Manx elm population is in the top five in the world.

However, Mr Henderson warned that this position can only be maintained by ensuring that the Island's control programme continues. He asks everyone to report any suspicious die back on elm trees, as illustrated in the Department's literature.

The information leaflet has been widely distributed, but can be obtained from DAFF, free on request.

In other parts of Western Europe, climate and disease-spread factors have led to the loss of the majority of elms in the last 12 years.

The Island's estimated elm population is 250,000 trees. Since 1992, less than 1% of the Island's elms have been lost, amounting to fewer than 350 trees.

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