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Another Tall Tree in the Public Garden Falls to Dutch Elm Disease

The disease travels underground, spreading to nearby trees.

A century-old elm tree was taken down in the Public Garden Wednesday because of infection. 

The Belgian elm was discovered to have Dutch elm disease, likely infected by nearby trees that had had the disease.

Dutch elm disease travels underground through root graft, and since it was it was discovered in some Public Garden trees last year the Friends of the Public Garden have been looking carefully at the Belgian elms, Executive Director Liz Vizza told Patch.

"We have a program of regular inspection and injection of the elms in all three of our parks to protect against Dutch elm disease ... We had to remove one at the beginning of the summer, and it is sad but not surprising to find this tree infected as well," she said. The trees are about 80 to 100 feet tall, and 100 years old.

"Once it was confirmed, by testing bark samples, that it was diseased it had to be removed quickly to prevent the spread of infection to other trees in the area," the Friends said on their Facebook page. 

Each year, the Friends care for the more than 1,700 trees in the Public Garden, the Boston Common and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. 

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