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Pruning Ban for Elm Trees Takes Effect Wednesday, April 1, 2020

For immediate release: March 31, 2020 - 1:00pm

The City reminds residents that the provincial ban on pruning elm trees will be in effect between Wednesday, April 1 and Monday, August 31, 2020.

The ban ensures that elm bark beetles, which transmit Dutch elm disease (DED), are not attracted to the freshly pruned trees at the time when these beetles are most active.  Anyone wishing to prune elm trees during the ban must obtain a permit. Please call the City’s 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. In July 2015, the first case of DED was identified in Saskatoon. To contain the disease, the infected tree was removed.  

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 die. 

The most effective management strategy for the elm bark beetle is to deprive it of its breeding habitat. This involves keeping elm trees healthy and removing dead and dying branches. It is necessary to dispose of any branches or wood from a fallen elm tree and either remove the stump or render it uninhabitable. Under no circumstances should elm wood be left lying around or 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 elm material must be transported to the nearest approved disposal site in the municipality where the elm was removed. The Saskatoon Landfill is the only site in Saskatoon approved for elm tree disposal.

By following the provincial regulations and maintaining trees on your private property, all citizens can help prevent the spread of DED in Saskatoon. Anyone suspecting an elm is unhealthy is asked to please contact the City at 306-975-2890.  

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