PORTLAND -- Dutch elm disease has wiped out elm tree populations in other parts of the country, and some Portlanders were working to keep it from destroying their beloved neighborhood trees.

The group Save our Elms led the effort to protect Portand's elms from the fast-spreading disease. When a tree contracts the disease, it dies within a matter of days and often affects many surrounding elms.

I think in the 25-27 years that we've been here, we've lost 12-13 trees on this block, said Bob Durand, a volunteer with Save our Elms.

Approximately 50 trees in the Northeast Portland neighborhoods of Hollywood and Alameda have been tagged with signs alerting passerby that the elms are in danger.

Since it arrived in Portland in the late 1970s, Dutch elm disease has killed approximately 1,500 of the city's 5,000 elm trees.

According to volunteers, it will cost approximately $7,000 to treat 50 trees. Innoculations are done by drilling holes in the base of the trees and injecting a fungicide.

The City of Portland said there are more than 3,500 elm trees within city limits, and it does not have the money to innoculate them all.

Save our Elms was trying to raise money to innoculate the trees.

KGWReporter Keely Chalmers contributed to this report.

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