Dutch elm disease found in Prince Albert’s Riverview area

Elm trees infected with Dutch elm disease may have red streaks through the sapwood. -- R. McIntosh/Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

The City of Prince Albert has confirmed a case of Dutch elm disease (DED) in the Riverview area.

DED is spread by elm bark beetles, which are attracted to weak and dying trees.

A fungus clogs the tree’s water and nutrient-conducting system, causing the tree to die.

This is the first documented case in “many years,” according to the city.

“The most likely cause of DED in situations like this is the illegal storage or transportation of elm firewood,” said Parks Manager Tim Yeaman.

“As a proactive measure, we are asking residents to work with the City of Prince Albert and help them to identify any elm wood cuttings that may be stored in yards and back alleys.”

Crews have removed and properly disposed of the infected tree.

A news release says to prevent DED by not pruning elms during the ban between Apr. 1 and Aug. 31. It’s also important to not bring elm wood into the city, to not store elm wood for more than a day, to dispose of elm wood in the landfill, to sanitize tools after working with elm wood and to report dead or dying elm trees.