How to prevent Dutch Elm Disease

  • Jul. 7, 2019 7:30 a.m.

At present, Alberta has the largest Dutch Elm Disease (DED)-free American elm stand in the world, and it is important to protect this valuable resource worth well over one billion dollars.

The Society to Prevent Dutch Elm Disease (STOPDED) is asking for your assistance to save our beautiful elm trees from this deadly disease.

DED is caused by a fungus that clogs the elm tree’s water conducting system, causing the tree to die.

The fungus is primarily spread from one elm tree to another by three species of beetles: the smaller European, the native, and the banded elm bark beetle.

The beetles are attracted to weak and dying trees, which serve as breeding sites for the beetles. Once the beetles have pupated and turned into adults, they leave the brood gallery and fly to healthy elms to feed and transport the fungus on their bodies from one tree to the next.

Monitoring for the beetles is done annually throughout the province by STOPDED. The smaller elm bark beetles have been found throughout the province in low numbers and now the banded elm bark beetle is found in larger numbers throughout the City of Medicine Hat and area.

Leaves on a DED-infected elm will wilt or droop, curl and become brown, appearing in mid-June to mid-July. Leaves on trees infected later in the season usually turn yellow and drop prematurely. Leaf symptoms are accompanied by brown staining under the bark. All DED suspect elms must be tested in a lab, so if you think you see DED symptoms call the hotline.

What to do:

-Be aware of the Alberta elm pruning ban between April 1st and Sept. 30th. The beetles are most active at this time and can be attracted to the scent of fresh tree cuts, possibly infecting a healthy elm.

-Keep your elm trees healthy and vigorous.

-Water elms well from April to mid-August. To allow the tree to harden off for the winter, watering should be stopped mid-August followed by a good soaking or two before freeze-up.

-Remove dead branches and trees as they can provide beetle habitat only between October 1 and March 31.

-Dispose of all elm wood immediately by burning, burying or chipping.

-Report all suspect trees to the DED Hotline at 1-877-837-ELMS. A confirmed DED tree must be removed immediately to prevent further spread.

What not to do:

-Do not transport or store elm firewood at any time. DED and the beetles are declared pests under the Alberta Agricultural Pests Act.

Do not transport elm firewood into Alberta. Firewood is confiscated at all the Alberta-Montana border crossings.

Do not prune elms between April 1st and Sept. 30th.

To report a DED suspect elm tree or for more information, call the STOPDED hotline at 1-877-837-ELMS or visit www.alberta.ca/society-to-prevent-dutch-elm-disease.aspx.

– Alberta Agriculture

Just Posted

There’s still time to stamp your Passport to Christmas

There are 50 Ponoka businesses participating

Photos: 2019 Ponoka CP Holiday Train stop

Featuring Madeline Merlo and Scott Helman

Ponoka Food Bank doubles number of hampers given away last month

Comparing the first two weeks in November in 2018 and 2019

PHOTOS: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas …

Winter wonderland of lights: Everywhere you go in Ponoka, people are getting… Continue reading

Ponoka family physician retiring after 40 years of service to community

Dr. Brendan Bunting is hanging up his stethoscope after 40 years as… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: Ethical and sustainable gifts for the season

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Man accused in toddler son’s death inept parent, not murderer: defence

Toddler’s body was found outside Good Shepherd Anglican Church in April 2017

Job numbers disappointing, but oil and gas growth expected in 2020: Kenney

Unemployment rate in Alberta rose to 7.2 per cent from 6.7 per cent last month

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Feds approve Alberta’s carbon tax on big industrial emitters

Tax will be applied on 10 per cent of emissions produced by the province’s biggest polluters

Appeal denied: Alberta’s top court upholds conviction of triple-murderer

Douglas Garland was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of a couple and their grandson

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

Most Read