June 22-28 is Dutch Elm Disease (DED) Awareness Week and with camping season in full swing, the City of Lethbridge is reminding residents not to bring firewood home when travelling out of province. Lindsay Bell, Urban Forestry Technician says it's easy for DED carrier bugs to make their way here if they're brought along with leftover firewood.
"One of the big things we're telling people is don't move firewood," says Bell, "Firewood can bring a lot of insects in and move things to other areas."
Dutch Elm Disease is a fungus with the ability to quickly kill an elm tree by cutting off it's water conducting system. In Alberta, the economic impact to losing elm trees could be substantial if the species is potentially eliminated. Not only that, many elms in the Lethbridge area have been growing here for decades which would take a significant time to bring back if lost.
- Prevention is the key to protecting the elm tree population in the region from being affected by DED.
- Do not bring firewood back from camping trips
- Keep trees in healthy condition, as stressed trees are more susceptible to insect and disease problems
- Prune dead wood only between October 1 and March 31. Pruning in the summer creates open wounds and may attract elm bark beetles, a carriers of DED.
- Watch for symptoms of DED on elm trees in your neighborhood. From mid-June through July leaves will wilt or droop, curl up and turn brown.
- Report elm trees displaying symptoms by calling 311 or the Provincial Hotline: 1-877-837-ELMS (3567).
For further information on the signs of Dutch Elm Disease, visit our website or www.stopded.org
For Public Inquiries:
Call 311 | Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.