The City of Regina is reporting the first three cases of Dutch Elm disease in the city this year.
The city has confirmed the bark from another three trees is being tested in a lab at this time.
Spokesperson Russell Eirich says while losing three trees to Dutch Elm at the same time is tough, their prevention program is still a great success.
“A good Dutch Elm Disease program will lose approximately one percent of its trees per year,” Eirich said. “Considering that Regina has about 45,000 elms, losing 10 trees a year is a pretty good result. Other communities lose thousands of trees a year.”
Eirich says Dutch Elm can be devastating if it is not monitored properly.
“A lot of eastern Canada will not have any elm trees naturally surviving,” Eirich said. “If you look at some of the pictures of some of the municipalities in Ontario, you will see old pictures where there were large stands of elms, within 10 years, there was nothing.”
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Eirich describes what city crews look for when scouting for Dutch Elm Disease.
“We’re looking for dead branches, some wilting leaves, the leaves are not falling off, we’re taking some samples,” Eirich said. “What we’re doing as well is we’re peeling back the bark, and then we’re looking for staining.”
Regina saw it’s first Dutch Elm diseased tree back in 1981. Since then, there have been 139 trees removed due to Dutch Elm in the city. Dutch Elm Disease is known to spread either through beetles carrying fungus from tree-to-tree, or through the root system.