Dutch elm disease (DED)

We are responsible for the management of Dutch elm disease in East Sussex.

Report a sighting

If you see a suspected case of Dutch elm disease, please report it. You can also attach a photograph:

Vigilance and prompt action by the Dutch elm disease control team is the only way of limiting the spread of this disease.

What to look out for

During summer and early autumn, infected trees can be identified by yellowing and shrivelled leaves. Towards the tips of infected branches, the leaves will be brown as the infection gradually spreads down the infected branch.

Flickr – photos of aerial infections

The Forestry Commission website has information, including how to diagnose the disease:

Background information

Dutch elm disease has killed millions of elm trees in the UK since its arrival in 1971. In partnership with other local authorities, a control zone was set up in 1973 to limit the spread of the disease in East Sussex and the surrounding area.

This has been extremely successful:

  • East Sussex now contains the only population of mature English elms in the world
  • there are now many more elms inside the East Sussex zone than when the disease arrived – nearly 50,000. This includes a number of large veteran elms.

For information about the management of the control zone contact our Dutch Elm Disease officer.

Be an Elm Protection Volunteer

We need volunteers across the county to keep an eye out for Dutch elm disease.

Find out how you can become a Elm Protection Volunteer.

East Sussex DED control zone map

The control zone stretches from Falmer in the west of the county, to Pevensey in the east, except Eastbourne, where elms are managed by Eastbourne Borough Council.

A higher resolution version of this map is available, please contact us if you would like a copy.

For elms in Eastbourne and Brighton & Hove, see: