City of Trees Suffering From Dutch Elm Disease

With temperatures well into the triple-digits this week, it is not uncommon to see people seeking out the comfort of a shade tree.  But a deadly disease is chewing up that precious recourse in the 'City of Trees.'

Armed with chainsaws, city workers in cherry pickers removed branch after branch of a decades-old Elm Tree along Capitol Avenue in Midtown today.  City Urban Forester Kevin Hocker says its one of more than a thousand trees that have fallen victim to Dutch Elm Disease since the fatal fungus was discovered in Sacramento around 1991.  "There's no known cure," said City of Sacramento urban forester Kevin Hocker. "The best to eradicate the disease is to eradicate the trees that the fungal disease is breeding inside of."

Photos by Joe Michaels, KFBK

With sadness in her voice, Sue Mortensen, who volunteers with the Sacramento Tree Foundation, said losing the tree canopy will change the nature of the Capital City. "Not only the aesthetic nature, but the service that the trees provide us by reducing the heat and by cleaning the air for us."

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