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Elm tree pruning ban critical to stop the spread of Dutch Elm Disease

​The City of Lethbridge, along with the Society to Prevent Dutch Elm Disease (STOPDED), encourage residents to pay close attention to the Provincial elm pruning ban which is in place between April 1st and September 30th. Lethbridge is the only community in Alberta with confirmed cases of Dutch Elm Disease (DED), a fungus that poses a serious risk to the health of the nearly 12,000 elm trees in our city. Once an elm tree is infected with DED it will typically die within a few seasons.

Elm bark beetles, responsible for spreading the deadly DED fungus, feed on healthy elms and breed in dead and dying elm trees. If elm trees are pruned during the pruning ban period, these beetles, which are active at this time, can be attracted to the scent of the fresh wound and possibly infect otherwise healthy elm with DED.

DED spreads very quickly and has the potential to impact the entire elm tree population in the City of Lethbridge in as little as 5 years. Residents are reminded to:

  • Determine if they have any elm trees on their property.
  • Not prune elm trees between April 1 and September 30.
  • Watch for signs of DED and report it to 311. In the spring, trees may have a few branches with smaller or no leaves on them. In early summer, green leaves may start to droop, curl or wilt, some will turn brown but will remain attached to the branches.
  • Not keep elm wood for personal use. It is illegal to do so. Stored elm wood is the ideal breeding environment for elm bark beetles.
  • Properly dispose of elm wood by taking it to the City of Lethbridge Landfill's designated disposal site for elm.

If you have any questions, need help identifying your trees or if you think your tree may have DED, contact Lethbridge 311 as soon as possible. For more information, or

For Public Inquiries:

Call 311 |  Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.