(photo courtesy of the Society to Prevent Dutch Elm Disease)
The Town of Drumheller and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry remind you to be aware of Dutch elm disease.
Recently an elm bark beetle was found in a trap in the Drumheller municipality which is believed to have arrived on firewood. Drumheller and East Coulee have a combined 4300 elm trees which are vital to maintaining the beauty of the municipality.
How can I prevent Dutch elm disease in my neighborhood? It is critically important that elm firewood must not be transported into the municipality. Elm bark beetles that carry the Dutch elm disease fungus can hide under bark where they cannot be seen. In addition, please do not prune elm trees between April 1st and September 30th. Pruning cuts and attract beetles to the tree, increasing the chance of infection. Both transportation and pruning of elm trees in high risk months is illegal under the Alberta Agriculture Pest Act.
How will I know if my trees are infected? Symptoms of a Dutch elm disease infected tree in early summer include wilted or drooped leaves, which become curled or brown. Infection in trees later in the summer can result in leaves turning yellow and falling much earlier than normal. Brown staining under the bark is another symptom as well.
What if I already have elm firewood? Please destroy the elm firewood simply by burning it or bury the firewood to ensure that any possible beetles cannot infect a healthy elm tree.
To learn more about Dutch Elm Disease, or to report a Dutch elm disease infection, please call the Stop Dutch Elm Disease Hotline at 1-800-837-ELMS or visit www.stopded.org.