Photo: Fredrik Persson/Scanpix.

Dutch elm disease tightens grip

The warm summer has provided perfect conditions for a beetle that spreads the Dutch elm disease, a fungus that is killing off Sweden's elm tree population.

Swedish Radio News reports that the warm weather means that the disease could spread even further, thanks to the large elm bark beetle, which lives in the trees and thrives in warm conditions.

It is estimated that up to 80 percent of Sweden's elm trees could have died within the next decade, due to the disease.

One town that has been hit is Eskilstuna, in central Sweden. Arborists are currently cutting down diseased trees in the city centre.

"It's happening more and more", Bo Karlsson from the local council told Swedish Radio, "it starts with the leaves, and then it develops very quickly. Then the question is how long the trees last. You then end up with large gaps in the landscape, it looks very strange."

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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