News Release - July 20, 2006
INITIAL 2006 DUTCH ELM DISEASE SURVEY COMPLETED
The first Dutch elm disease survey of 2006 was completed this month and identified the disease in several areas of the province.
Communities confirming the presence of infected elms include Carnduff (12), Estevan (24), Fort Qu'Appelle (9), Katepwa (40), Lumsden (9), Moosomin (1), Regina (1), Regina Beach (6) and Wolseley (1). Infected elms have also been found at the Experimental Farm and Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) farm at Indian Head.
"To date, increases have been seen in the communities of Estevan and Carnduff with reductions in the communities of Regina Beach and Lumsden," provincial Dutch elm disease co-ordinator Steve Hyde said. "Infected elms in the Regina, Moose Jaw and Estevan buffers have also seen a decrease while Indian Head has seen a significant increase."
Buffer or protection zones are established outside urban centres with significant elm populations to limit the movement of the disease. Infected elms have been identified in the following buffer zones - Indian Head (50), Moose Jaw (18), Regina (15) and Estevan (12). Many of the trees identified have or are in the process of being removed. Early removal limits the spread of the disease as it removes the source of infection, which is transmitted by the native elm bark beetle.
"This year, there are 40 communities participating in agreements with Saskatchewan Environment to share the costs of their management programs," Hyde said. "Communities use these funds to manage the disease through pruning rotations for the elms and spraying for beetle management along with staff training and public education."
Healthy elms resist infection better and homeowners should prune their trees regularly but observe the pruning ban from April 1st to August 31st. Due to the risk of spreading the disease, transporting or storing elm firewood is illegal.
For more information about disease prevention, call Saskatchewan Environment's toll-free Dutch elm disease information line at 1-800-SASK ELM (1-800-727-5356).
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