I have lived in Braidwood, IL for 10 years and had watched this elm tree grow with our garden. Suddenly, the tree died. My question is what can cause a healthy 40-foot elm tree to suddenly die? The tree is currently covered with flies and moths.

The most common cause of rapid decline in American elm trees is Dutch elm disease. This fungus has killed millions of elms and continues to do so by invading the water-conducting tissue of the tree. The appearance is therefore a sudden wilting and death of branches and then the whole tree.

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