This disease is not of Dutch origin, but because early work on the disease was done by Dutch pathologists in the 1920s, the disease has been called Dutch elm disease (DED). In all probability the disease is of Asiatic origin.
Dutch elm disease is caused by a fungus called Ophiostoma ulmi (formerly Ceratocystis ulmi) that was introduced to the U.S. in the early 1930s. The American elm, Ulmus americana, is extremely susceptible and the disease has killed hundreds of thousands of elms across the U.S. All native elms are susceptible, as are European elms, but the Asiatic elms, U. parvifolia (Lace bark elm) and U. pumila (Siberian elm) are highly resistant to the disease. The disease is still a threat today, but fortunately, several resistant American elm and hybrid elm selections are available or being developed.