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Pruning ban for elm trees ends today

For immediate release: September 1, 2019 - 9:00am

The province-wide pruning ban for elm trees ends today, Sunday, September 1, 2019. The pruning ban is in place each year from April 1 to August 31 to ensure that elm bark beetles, which transmit Dutch elm disease, are not attracted to freshly-pruned trees when the beetles are most active.

Provincial regulations also restrict elm wood storage, especially firewood, as it is a common habitat for the elm bark beetle. At any time of the year, elm branches, logs, and firewood must be taken to the nearest approved disposal site. In Saskatoon, the landfill is the only site approved for elm disposal.

Dutch elm disease has killed thousands of elm trees in Canada. It was first discovered in Saskatchewan in 1981 and continues to be found in more areas throughout the province. Saskatoon had its first confirmed case of the disease in 2015. The infected tree was removed and disposed of at the landfill. Surveillance for Dutch elm disease and the elm bark beetle continues throughout the city, with no more cases identified since.

The most effective management strategy for Dutch elm disease and the elm bark beetle is to not transport firewood. Movement of infected firewood is the most likely way that Dutch elm disease would be brought into Saskatoon.

In addition, keeping elm trees healthy through proper watering, and removing and properly disposing of dead and dying branches will deprive the elm bark beetle of its habitat. Under no circumstances should elm wood be stored.  

By following the provincial regulations, maintaining trees on your private property, and not transporting firewood, all citizens can help prevent the spread of Dutch elm disease. Anyone suspecting an elm tree of displaying symptoms such as yellow, wilted leaves is asked to please contact Urban Forestry Customer Service at 306-975-2890.

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