Thursday, November 6, 2014

Video series continues: Helping homeowners preserve and protect their trees

Our trees are critical to preserving and protecting the natural environment, and to help homeowners we are sharing a second video in a series on tree health.

The elm tree is common in Calgary as one of the only shade trees to thrive in our climate. However, it is susceptible to Dutch Elm Disease (DED). DED is caused by a fungus spread by the elm bark beetle and can quickly wipe out large numbers of elms.

Alberta is one of the few regions that remain DED-free, a status that you can help to protect.

Three things property owners can do to help keep their elms healthy:
  1. Replace the grass at the tree base with mulch to keep roots cool, conserve water and provide nutrients. 
  2. Water during dry spells in the summer and generously before the ground freezes. Even if the ground looks dry come February or March, water from the fall soak will still be protecting the roots.
  3. Keep them pruned so they are free of wood that is dead or dying.

Elm tree owners are also encouraged to comply with provincial regulations on DED prevention and control measures.
  • Do not prune elm trees between Apr. 1 and Sept. 30 when elm bark beetles are active. 
  • Only transport elm wood to a City landfill.
  • Never store or scavenge elm wood for firewood.
  • Pruning elm trees during the ban or storing elm wood is subject up to a $5,000 fine or six months in jail under the Alberta Pests Control Act.
More about caring for your elm trees and preventing Dutch elm disease:
City of Calgary
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development 
Society to Prevent Dutch Elm Disease

Watch the first video in the series.

Submitted by Donna Bertrand, Community Services and Protective Services

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