| ||To help keep Alberta Dutch elm disease (DED) free, the Society to Prevent Dutch Elm Disease (STOPDED) encourages everyone to pay attention to the Provincial elm pruning ban between April 1st and September 30th. To help eliminate beetle habitat, it is important to properly prune all dead wood out of your elms and dispose of all pruned elm wood and elm firewood by burning, burying or chipping by March 31. Stored elm wood can harbor the elm bark beetles that can carry DED.
“Elm bark beetles, responsible for spreading the deadly DED fungus, feed on healthy elms and breed in dead and dying elm trees,” says Janet Feddes-Calpas, STOPDED executive director. “If elm trees are pruned during the pruning ban period, these beetles which are active at this time can be attracted to the scent of the fresh wound and possibly infect an otherwise healthy elm with DED. Once an elm tree is infected with DED it will die within that year.”
Having your tree pruned properly is important. Many trees are killed or ruined annually from improper pruning. Pruning like any other skill requires knowledge and should be done by a professional certified arborist who can determine what type of pruning is necessary to maintain or improve the health, appearance and safety of your trees.
Topping or removing an excessive amount of live wood is not recommended on any variety of trees and will weaken the tree’s structure. For more information on pruning, certified ISA arborists and DED click the linked websites.