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Pruning ban for elm trees

PRUNING BAN FOR ELM TREES TAKES EFFECT WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1

The City of Saskatoon (City) reminds residents that the provincial ban on pruning elm trees will be in effect between April 1 and August 31, 2015.

The ban ensures that elm bark beetles, which transmit dutch elm disease (DED), are not attracted to the freshly pruned trees when these beetles are most active.  Anyone wishing to prune elm trees during the ban must obtain a permit.  Please call City of Saskatoon Parks Division at 306-975-3300 for information.

DED was first discovered in Saskatchewan in 1981 and continues to be found in more areas of the province every year.  DED is caused by a fungus that clogs the tree’s water conducting system, which eventually causes the tree to die, usually within one or two seasons.  Early symptoms of the disease usually appear by July when the leaves on one or more branches wilt, curl, turn yellow, and then die.

The only effective management strategy for the elm bark beetle is to deprive it of its breeding habitat.  This involves keeping elm trees healthy by removing potential breeding material in trees and eliminating detached elm wood.  For this reason, it is necessary to dispose, or render un-inhabitable, elm stumps and remove any fallen branches or any wood from a fallen elm tree.  Under no circumstances should elm wood be left lying around, stored for firewood, or other purposes. 

Elm removal can occur at any time of the year; however, the entire tree must be removed and all waste elm be transported to the nearest approved landfill site in the municipality where the elm was removed.  In Saskatoon, the Saskatoon Landfill is the only site approved for elm tree disposal.

It is estimated that Saskatoon’s 25,000 boulevard and park elm trees are worth approximately $45 million, and many more are located on private property.  While Saskatoon does not have the disease, effective DED management requires everyones support.  Anyone suspecting an elm is unhealthy is asked to please contact the City at 306-975-2890.

For more information, visit www.saskatoon.ca/trees.

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