In July 2011 we had to remove some heavy branches because they had lost all leafs in mid-summer. Although substantial damage, the tree came out pretty well.
This time, after a tough winter period, we saw far more damage and found out that this is Dutch elm disease, a fungus Ophiostoma ulmi (syn. Ceratocystis ulmi) and Ophiostoma novo-ulmi. Ophiostoma novo-ulmi that was first discovered in de 1970′s and also infects Ophiostoma ulmi resistant specimen like ‘Commelin’ and ‘Groeneveld’.
In almost all cases it gets only discovered when the damage has been done, damage that is irreversible. The fungus is transported by a small beetle named Scolytus scolytus and Scolytus multistriatus (Dutch: grote en de kleine iepenspintkever).
In the related and other links on this page you can see our garden proud in its glorious day. The bottom photo shows just one example. The ‘good’ news is that the tree is not fully destroyed. One, and only one, of the main branches survived. However the trunk also shows signs of life and new shoots have showed up. Now time will tell how we can shape this to become yet again a ‘garden proud’.