Elm Pruning Ban Lifted

Saskatchewan property owners now have the green light to trim their elm trees, as the annual ban on pruning elms comes to a close.

The ban is in place each year from April 1 to August 31 to reduce the risk of spreading Dutch elm disease (DED), a fungus that kills elms. The ban period coincides with the time when the tiny elm bark beetles that carry DED are most active. Fresh cuts from pruning can attract the insects, potentially spreading the disease from infected trees to healthy ones.

Regular pruning is important to keep all trees healthy and less vulnerable to disease. For elm trees, removing dead branches also makes them less attractive to elm bark beetles. In the early fall, the weather can be great for maintaining your trees, and it’s much easier to see and remove dead or unhealthy branches with the leaves still present.

Incorrect pruning can damage trees and spread DED or other diseases. Under provincial regulations, anyone pruning elms commercially must have completed a recognized training program or be supervised by someone who has. If you’re unsure if the person you’re considering for the job has the required training, feel free to ask for their credentials.

Please remember, in Saskatchewan, it is illegal to transport, store or use elm firewood. Dispose of elm wood promptly, by burning or burying it in a location designated by the local municipality.

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