Elm tree pruning ban in Saskatchewan starts April 1

Saskatchewan’s annual elm tree pruning ban starts on April 1. File / Global News

Time is running out for Saskatchewan property owners to prune their elm trees.

The annual province-wide ban starts on April 1 and runs until the end of August.

READ MORE: City of Regina starts pruning to prevent Dutch elm disease

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Fresh cuts on elm trees can attract the elm bark beetle, who can then spread Dutch elm disease (DED) to the trees.

The insects are most active during the ban period.

DED is caused by a fungus that clogs the American elm tree’s water conducting system, which can cause it to die within one or two seasons.

An elm tree in Regina had to be removed last year due to DED and the city has had to remove 94 trees since the disease was first detected in 1981.

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Saskatoon recorded its first case of DED in July 2015.

READ MORE: Dutch elm disease found in Saskatoon tree

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Symptoms of the disease usually appear by July when leaves wilt, turn yellow and then die.

Regular pruning, when permitted, keeps elm trees healthy and less attractive to the beetles, which live and breed in dead wood.

It is illegal to use, transport, store, or sell elm firewood in Saskatchewan.

Elm wood should be disposed of promptly under the guidelines of each municipality.

With files from Thomas Piller

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