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Alberta Dutch Elm Disease Awareness Week June 22 - June 28
Posted On: June 16, 2015

 Alberta Dutch Elm Disease Awareness Week June 22- June 28                   

 

The Society to Prevent Dutch Elm Disease (STOPDED) would like to make sure Albertans are informed about Dutch Elm Disease (DED) and how it can prevented.  Dutch Elm Disease Awareness Week is recognized annually throughout Alberta from June 22 to 28.

 

American elms are planted extensively in AB and have throughout the years became the tree of choice for the Prairies with good reason. These giants with their height and broad vase shaped canopies have given them tremendous esthetic value.  They are tough, can endure extreme heat, cold and drought, yet retain incredible beauty.

 

However, all elm species that grow in AB have an Achilles heel. They are prone to DED a deadly fungus. This fungus clogs the elm tree's water conducting system, ausing the tree to die in short period of time.  The fungus is primarily spread from one elm tree to another by elm bark beetles. 

 

Leaves on a DED-infected elm will wilt or droop, curl and become brown.  This appears 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 suspicious elms must be tested in a lab, a service STOPDED funds.

 

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.  For this reason we must be even more vigilant.

 

During DED Awareness Week, please take a moment and find out how you can help save our elms.

 

What can you do?

·         Be aware of the Alberta elm pruning ban between April 1and September 30.  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.

·         Only between October 1 to March 31, remove dead branches and trees as they can provide beetle habitat.

·         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 you shouldn’t do!

·         Do not transport or store elm firewood at any time! DED and the beetles are declared pests under the AB Agricultural Pests Act making it illegal to do so.

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

·         Do not prune elms between April 1 to September 30.

 

To report a DED suspect elm tree or for more information, call the STOPDED hotline at 1-877-837-ELMS or check out the web site at www.stopded.org.  

 

Our elms are a treasure that we cannot afford to lose.  DED can be prevented.

 

Janet Feddes-Calpas

STOPDED Executive Director

403-782-8613

stopded@shaw.ca

 

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