News Flash

Red Deer County News

Posted on: October 7, 2021

Help Prevent Dutch Elm Disease

Dutch Elm Disease

The annual elm pruning ban in Alberta is over until March 31, 2022. Now is the time to remove dead wood out of your elm trees. 

Dutch Elm Disease is caused by a fungus that clogs the water conducting system in infected elms. The fungus is primarily spread from one tree to another by elm bark beetles which are inactive over the winter months. If elm trees are pruned between April 1 and September 30, beetles can be drawn to the scent of the fresh pruning cuts and potentially infect the tree. 

It is recommended that all trees be pruned by a professional arborist. Improper pruning, topping, or removing an excessive amount of live wood can weaken the tree’s structure and shorten its lifespan. 

Properly dispose of all elm wood at a landfill, or by burying or burning the material. It is illegal to store or transport elm wood since it could be concealing beetles inside. 

Alberta is largely free from Dutch Elm Disease due to an effective prevention and control program although its borders are being pressed from two sides by Saskatchewan and Montana, both of which are battling the disease. 

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