Dutch elm died suddenly

Our Dutch elm died suddenly. This tree has to be 50 years old. Been groomed and maintained by us for the last 17 years. Always looks great. This elm just started browning up 2 months ago and dropping all its leaves. Had a tree surgeon out, he said it will never come back, too may leaves gone. The Dutch elm disease wouldnt strike that quick, would it? Could my neighbor poison it? Maybe drove a copper stake into it. She has complained it is close to the fence she recently installed.
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TP wrote:

Dutch Elm disease strikes very fast, and is very contagious.
But you shouldn't have to guess what killed the tree. If it was Dutch Elm disease, or poisoned, a trained arborist should be able to tell.
--
Warren H.

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TP wrote:

Could have been hit by the mysterious Weeping Cherry Tree disease...
However blaming the neughbor always makes great newsgroup fodder.
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