Tree assessments constructive for Dutch elm illness in Saskatoon park – Saskatoon

A case of Dutch elm disease (DED) was confirmed in a Saskatoon tree on Monday, according to the city of Saskatoon.

The crews will begin removing the infected tree in the Westmount neighborhood on Tuesday, read a press release.

“(DED) is a serious disease of the American elm and elm accounts for about 25 percent of Saskatoon’s urban forest,” entomologist Sydney Worthy said in a statement.

“The disease was introduced to North America in the 1930s and has since spread mainly through the transport of firewood and lumber. It wiped out millions of elms in Canada and the United States and has had a presence in Saskatchewan since the 1980s.

“Saskatoon had another case in September last year.”

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Dutch elm disease confirmed in Saskatoon’s Montgomery Place neighborhood

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Officials said DED is caused by two types of fungus, both transmitted by elm bark beetles and from tree to tree by root grafts and pruning tools. They added that it blocks water movement and eventually leads to the death of the entire tree.

The most effective management strategy for DED is not to transport or store any elm wood. Infected firewood is the most likely route DED will be brought to Saskatoon.

The city’s park inspectors issued 71 violations – 46 of which contained elm firewood – and removed over 13 tons of privately owned elm wood in 2020.

“This discovery by (DED) shows that our ongoing monitoring and screening procedures are working,” said Darren Crilly, the city’s park director, in a statement.

“Our response plan has been effective to ensure we spot diseased trees early and limit the spread of the disease by removing them quickly.”

According to the city, the elms in the Leif Erickson Park area will continue to be monitored and tested and further distances may occur based on the results.

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