Dutch elm disease (DED) puts Saskatchewan’s urban and rural forests at risk, stated the Saskatchewan Government in a release, especially in the eastern part of the province. Slowing the spread of DED is critical for the health of the province's forests.
The Ministry of Environment has contracted Regina-based Northern Tree Co. Inc., to remove and dispose of infected elm trees in high-risk areas. Detecting infections early and removing the diseased American elm trees is key to slowing the spread of the disease, explained the Government release.
"Dutch elm disease is an ongoing concern for Saskatchewan residents and wildlife," Environment Minister Dana Skoropad said. "We are pleased to continue working with a local company on this important initiative to protect and maintain our urban and rural forests."
To prevent the disease from spreading into urban forests, the DED program manages wild elm trees in buffer zones established around high-risk communities, including:
- Indian Head
- Moose Jaw
Survey contractors will be in the high-risk areas over the summer marking trees for removal. Northern Tree Co. Inc. will follow with the removal of diseased trees in the fall and early winter.
The Government wants to remind residents that it is illegal to use, transport, store, or buy elm firewood. They suggest not pruning elms between April 1 to August 31. If you suspect a tree may have DED, or for more information, contact the Ministry of Environment's Inquiry Centre at 1-800-567-4224.