Saskatchewan imposes elm tree pruning ban from April 1 to August 31 to limit spread of Dutch elm disease

REGINA, Saskatchewan , March 29, 2012 (press release) – To reduce the risk of Dutch elm disease (DED), pruning of elm trees is prohibited throughout Saskatchewan each year from April 1 until August 31. Fresh cuts from pruning can attract the beetles that spread the disease, increasing the chance of an infection. The annual pruning ban is in effect during the time of year when elm bark beetles are most active.

Pruning is an important part of regular elm tree care and is encouraged, before and after the annual ban period. Proper pruning helps keep trees healthy and better able to resist disease. The removal of dead and dying elm wood through pruning also helps to reduce beetle breeding habitat and control the beetle population. Timely and proper disposal of the pruned wood is also essential to keep DED from spreading. Throughout the year, including the ban period, prompt removal of infected elms is critical to effective disease management.

Provincial regulations also require commercial pruners of elm trees to have taken a recognized training program or be under the supervision of someone who has. Improper pruning techniques can contribute to the spread of many tree diseases, including DED.

Because of the risk of spreading DED, transporting or storing elm firewood is illegal. Any elm wood should be disposed of promptly, using the method and locations chosen by each municipality.

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