DUTCH ELM DISEASE
Updated: Feb 18
Did you know that Alberta has the largest population of Dutch Elms in the world? Thats right, the WORLD! See below for more information on Dutch Elm Disease and ways to prevent the spread.
About Dutch Elm Disease
You might have heard about Dutch Elm Disease - its a fatal fungal disease that is one of the most serious threats to elm trees and is carried by the European or native elm bark beetle. This disease clogs the vascular tissue of elms, preventing water from moving throughout the tree. DED (Dutch Elm Disease) can infect and kill a tree in 3 weeks, and an entire population of elms within a community in as little as a decade.
Alberta Elm Trees - Ways to Prevent the Spread
Alberta is currently one of the lsat locations in North America that is free of DED and has the largest population of healthy elms in the world. It is important to understand ways to maintain and care for our elm population, and what you can do to prevent the spread of DED moving forward.
* Ensure you are working with a reputable company & a certified arborist that can provide a healthy pruning and dead wooding plan for your elm trees. * Prune your elm trees between the dates of October 1st - March 31st in any given year. Elm Bark Beetles are active between April 1st & September 30th and are attracted to fresh wounds * Be aware of DED and its symptoms (leaves may wilt, drop or curl and eventually turn yellowish-brown and fall off. The trunk can also show signs of peeling bark, splitting or cracking). If you are noticing these signs or symptoms, report it as soon as possible. * Ensure you are disposing of elm wood properly by burning or chipping (cannot be used or stored as firewood). DED is declared as pests under the Alberta Agricultural Pests Act.
PREVENTION IS THE BEST DEFENCE: The best way to prevent elm disease is to ensure your trees stay happy & healthy. Pruning them every 3-5 years and ensuring that you contact your local arborist or municipality if you notice or think your tree might be infected will also help prevent any spread.
If you are interested in more information on this - STOPDED is a non-profit organization who are devoted to preserve and protect Albertas elm trees. They focus on creating public awareness and consist of professionals from all industries who work together to ensure Alberta can continue fostering healthy elm trees now and in the future. Check out this link for more information: https://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$Department/deptdocs.nsf/all/prm1043/$FILE/2018annualreport.pdf