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Thursday, December 18, 2014
Saskatchewan

ELM TREE PRUNING BAN LIFTED SEPTEMBER 1

Effective September 1, Saskatchewan residents can begin pruning all types of elm trees.

Each year, the pruning of elm trees is prohibited from April 1 to August 31 to reduce the risk of Dutch elm disease (DED). The beetles that spread the deadly disease are most active during this period and fresh cuts attract them.

"We appreciate that homeowners abide by the pruning ban between April and August," provincial Dutch elm disease co-ordinator Jeff Gooliaff said. "Now that the ban period is over, we encourage homeowners to prune their elm trees. By looking after their trees, homeowners can help protect all the elms in the community."

Regular pruning, outside the ban period, helps keep trees healthy and better able to resist all types of diseases, including DED. Removing dead wood also makes trees less attractive to the elm bark beetle, the insect that spreads the fungus that causes DED. There are several types of beetle, including a new one detected in Saskatchewan this year, that the ministry is closely monitoring.

"The arrival of the banded elm bark beetle has added a new dimension to the fight against DED," Gooliaff said. "With no natural predators and an ability to feed on trees other than elm, this new beetle is potentially more mobile than the native or European elm bark beetles and may render established buffer zones less effective."

Because of the risk of spreading DED, transporting or storing elm firewood is illegal. Any elm wood should be disposed of promptly, using the method and locations chosen by each municipality.

"Elm wood is a particular risk for DED, but transporting any type of wood with bark from one area to another can spread insects and diseases," Gooliaff said. "People can help keep all types of trees healthier by not moving wood around."

For more information about Dutch elm disease or to report a suspicious tree, call 1-800-SASK ELM or your local municipal office.

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For more information, contact:

Rory McIntosh
Environment
Prince Albert
Phone: 306-953-3617

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