The Village of Empress

is situated on the West side of the Alberta/Saskatchewan border and serves as a center to the surrounding farming and ranching community of 1,500 people. It has been a focal point for many activities in the area. It is also at the geographical center of many large cities in Western Canada: Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon and Regina.

Dutch Elm Disease

Empress is lucky to have all the trees that we do.  The trees we have the most of are Elm, and precautions are necessary to protect against Dutch Elm Disease (DED).

The Society to Prevent Dutch Elm Disease (STOPDED). monitors for the elm bark beetles annually, however we were not able to place our traps out this 2022 spring / summer season.  Thankfully there have been no confirmed cases in our area in recent years but that does not mean we should ignore prevention measures.

Report all suspect infected trees immediately to the STOPDED Hotline at 1-877-837-ELMS (3567)

Annual pruning ban is in effect from April 1 to September 30.

Basically, Dutch Elm Disease is a fungus that kills Elm trees.  The fungus is primarily spread from one elm tree to another by 3 beetle species.  The beetles are attracted to injured, weak and dying trees, which serve as breeding sites.  The beetles ARE attracted to the scent of fresh tree cuts, possibly infecting a healthy tree.  Once the beetles have pupated and turned into adults, they fly to healthy elms to feed, transporting the fungus on their bodies from one tree to the next.

To keep our Elm trees safe from this disease, we need to follow the Prevention/Control Measures under the Alberta Agricultural Pests Act (APA).  Fines may be issued for non compliance with this Act.

Here is the relevant publication of the rules:
Dutch elm disease prevention/control measures : responsibilities and authority under the Alberta Agricultural Pests Act (APA)

More information from Alberta.ca:
    How to identify an elm tree
    Dutch Elm Disease
    Dutch Elm Disease – Responsibilities and authority

Here is a short list of the rules, not including all details:

• No pruning of elm trees between April 1 and September 30.  The elm beetles are active during that time.
• Prune away dead, damaged, or diseased (other than from DED) branches from healthy elm trees.
• Remove all dead and dying elm trees.
• An elm tree can be removed at any time of year as long as it is immediately disposed of.  Dig up the stump, whether the tree had DED or not.
• If a tree has tested positive for Dutch Elm Disease, it must be removed and disposed of immediately.
• Sterilize your equipment between working on different trees.
• Do not keep elm wood.  It must be disposed of immediately.
• Call the Village to find out where the elm wood should go.
• Do not transport elm wood anywhere but to the disposal site.
• Do not bring elm wood to the Village from elsewhere.

5a. Elm Wood Disposal
Elm wood cannot be stored (5b. – Elm Wood Storage), or transported unless en route to the closest elm wood disposal site.  All elm wood must be properly disposed of immediately by either burning or burying to a minimum depth of 25 cm.  If elm wood is uninfected with DED, another option is chipping (6 – Elm Chipping).  Immediate disposal of the elm wood ensures the destruction of overwintering beetle larval broods and adults and eliminates EEB breeding material.

Every municipality must designate a disposal site where elm wood may be burned or buried.

5b. Elm Wood Storage
Storage of elm wood is prohibited at any time of year unless the wood has been treated as described below:
1. all bark has been removed from the wood
2. the wood has been treated by kiln drying it to a moisture content of 18% or less, or heating it to 56°C for at least 30 minutes

Please keep our trees safe!

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