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It is Elm Season

IT IS ELM SEASON Maureen Sexsmith-West ISA Certified Arborist PR4600A

The Province of Alberta regulates the pruning of Elm Trees to prevent the introduction of Dutch Elm Disease in our province.

Elms can be pruned between October 1st and March 31st annually. Removals should include stump grinding.

The Society To Prevent Dutch Elm Disease (STOPDED) is a non-profit organization whose mandate is to preserve and protect Alberta’s elm trees from Dutch Elm Disease (DED). Members include federal, provincial and municipal representatives, nurserymen, landscapers, commercial and municipal arborists, research scientists, and other interested Albertans. STOPDED members from across the province take an active role in the prevention of DED in Alberta and in their communities.

I have extracted a key points from their website. I have included a link so you can learn all about the Society, their activities and some interesting and helpful information about Elms.

What Can You Do to Help Save Our Elms?

  1. Take preventative measures by keeping your elm trees healthy, vigorous and properly pruned.

  2. Elms should be well watered 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.

  3. Dead branches and trees that provide beetle habitat should be removed. Since elm bark beetles are attracted to fresh tree woulds, pruning should be done between October 1 to March 31 when the beetles are not in their active stage.

  4. Dispose of all elm wood you have by taking it to your local landfill or by burning, burying or chipping it. Chips should be no greater than 2.5 cm (1 inch). Elm wood provides ideal breeding sites for the tiny elm bark beetle that spreads Dutch elm disease.

  5. Learn how to identify the signs of Dutch elm disease and beetle activity so that you can report them to the nearest DED Hotline to your community. In Lethbridge, Contact the Urban Forestry Department of the City of Lethbridge 403 320-3075 (Lindsay Bell).

  6. Become a STOPDED member.

Do’s and Don’t’s


  1. Public must be aware about DED and its symptoms.

  2. Infected trees need to be reported immediately.

  3. Elm wood must be burned, buried or chipped immediately. Chips should be no greater than 2.5cm (1 inch).

  4. Keep elm trees healthy by keeping trees well watered.

  5. Prune dead wood from your elm trees between October 1st and March 31st.

Do Not

  1. bring elm firewood or logs into Alberta. It may be carrying the elm bark beetles and the fungus.

  2. Do not transport or store elm wood within Alberta. Stored firewood provides a perfect breeding area for the elm bark beetles.

  3. Avoid pruning elms between April 1st and September 30th. Elm bark beetles are active between these dates and are attracted to fresh wounds.

For information about STOPDED or Dutch elm disease contact Janet Feddes-Calpas at STOPDED Hotline: 1-877-837-ELMS (3567).


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