May 20, 2014 6:33 pm

Kildonan Park trees fall victim to Dutch elm disease

WINNIPEG – Kildonan Park’s landscape is changing.

An outbreak of Dutch elm disease has affected mature elms in the park, prompting the city to chop down 160 trees.

This year, the city found more than 100 trees affected by the bug. The other 60 trees set for removal at the park have died from other causes. The area hardest hit at the park is along the riverbank.

Already dozens of trees have been chopped, and the remainder have been flagged for removal.

Residents who frequent the park were sad to see the elms taken down and said they fear the park’s atmosphere will be compromised.

The city is already planning to replant the area with young varieties. The city forester said 100 new trees will be added to the park’s canopy by the end of the week.

Last year, Dutch elm disease affected the south side of the city most, mainly in the St. Norbert area. At this point, Kildonan Park is the only area of the city affected by the outbreak.

Dutch elm is a fungal disease that blocks water movement within the elm and eventually kills the tree.

In 2012, 4,800 trees were removed within the city due to an outbreak of the disease.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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