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Prune Your Elm Trees Starting September 1

Released on August 28, 2015

Homeowners are encouraged to prune their elm trees again to help keep them healthy, as Saskatchewan’s annual ban on elm tree pruning ends August 31.

Pruning elm trees is prohibited from April 1 to August 31 each year to reduce the risk of Dutch elm disease (DED).  Elm bark beetles that spread the disease are most active during this period, and fresh cuts can attract them to healthy trees and put the trees at risk.

Regular pruning, when permitted, helps keep elm trees healthy and better able to resist all types of disease, including DED.  Removing dead branches makes trees less attractive to elm bark beetles, which live and breed in dead wood.  Early fall can be a great time for tree maintenance; the weather is generally more pleasant and predictable than in early spring and, with leaves still on the trees, it’s easier to spot and remove the dead or unhealthy branches.

Correct pruning is important, whether you hire someone or do it yourself.  Improper pruning techniques can spread DED and other tree diseases.  Under provincial regulations, all commercial pruners of elm trees must complete a recognized training program or be supervised by someone who has.

Transporting or storing elm firewood can spread DED and is illegal.  All elm wood should be disposed of promptly by burning or burying it in a location approved by the local municipality.

For more information on proper elm disposal, check with your local municipal authority.

For more information about DED, or if you suspect an elm tree may be infected, call the Ministry of Environment’s general inquiry line at 1-800-567-4224.

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For more information, contact:

Darby Semeniuk
Environment
Regina
Phone: 306-787-0143
Email: darby.semeniuk@gov.sk.ca

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