Dutch elm disease response finds 13 tonnes of improperly stored elm wood; 71 infractions
Since the announcement on September 15, 2020, of a confirmed case of Dutch elm disease (DED) in a tree near Saskatoon’s Montgomery neighbourhood, the City has been actively implementing the DED Response Plan which has included:
- Immediate removal of the positive tree
- Disposal of the infected tree at the City landfill
- Sampling of adjacent trees
- Surveillance and testing of private and public trees in the surrounding area including Montgomery, Fairhaven, Meadowgreen and South Industrial areas, with an intensive search for elm material and other sources of infection
During their search, inspectors have issued 71 infraction notices (46 of which contained elm firewood), removed over 13,000 kilograms of elm wood from private property, and sampled an additional 20 trees with so far no additional positive test results from the lab. Inspectors have also found several instances where wood was moved from elsewhere with elm bark beetle activity in the wood.
“We would like to remind residents that the most effective management strategy for DED is to not transport or store elm wood,” says Jeff Boone, City Entomologist. “Infected firewood is the most likely way that DED would be brought into Saskatoon.”
Residents can help prevent DED by:
- Not pruning elms during the provincial pruning ban (April 1 to August 31)
- Not storing or transporting any elm firewood – provincial regulations prohibit the storing or transporting of elm firewood
- Always dispose of any elm wood at the City Landfill
The DED Response Plan will continue in the spring and summer of 2021 and will focus on searching for symptomatic trees to confirm that the disease has not spread.
For more information on DED, visit saskatoon.ca/dutchelmdisease.