OPP Spraying Elm Trees
In order to combat Dutch elm disease, which has done major damage to elm tree populations, OPP will be spraying the elm trees at Penn State with a chemical spray. Spraying will take place tonight and Thursday morning. It will be done tonight on the ground, and by helicopter beginning tomorrow morning.
Penn State currently boasts about 200 elm trees. However, 10 were lost this year and some 47 last year, showing the need to protect the plant species. Dutch elm disease was first discovered in the United States in 1928, and is a fungal affliction carried by the elm bark beetle. Therefore, the spray being used is an insecticide which is also used to treat head lice. Elm trees are extremely vulnerable to the disease; according to Physical Plant spokesman Paul Ruskin, “without the spray program, all of our elms would disappear in about 5 years.” OPP is also hoping that the spray can protect against elm yellows, a newer elm disease.
While a necessary step to protecting our elms, the spray is not hazardous, and the spraying procedure is not invasive or obstructive. Said Ruskin, “It should not be of any concern. If you happen to be sprayed by accident if a helicopter passes over, just wash it off.” Spraying is expected to be finished by 7 a.m. Thursday.