Since Dutch Elm Disease (DED) was first introduced to North America from Europe in 1930, it has destroyed millions of elm trees. Alberta is one of the last geographic areas in North America to be free of DED – let’s keep it that way.
Dutch Elm Disease is caused by a fungus (ophiostoma ulmi or ophiostoma nova) that spreads from one elm tree to another by elm bark beetles. Signs of the disease vary depending on the season:
Homeowners in Calgary should be aware of Dutch Elm Disease and take the following steps to help prevent this disease from ravaging our elm trees:
The province has no native elm trees but; many thousands of elms worth millions of dollars have been planted in Alberta cities, towns and rural landscapes because of their stately beauty, rapid growth, good regenerative capacity, extensive life-span, and ability to survive extreme climate conditions. The City takes several steps to prevent introduction of Dutch elm disease to Alberta, including promoting elm health, promoting awareness of the disease, monitoring elm beetle populations and testing trees for DED symptoms. Sticky panel traps with lures are placed at sites throughout Calgary and checked every 30 days during the summer to monitor beetle populations.
The Alberta Society to Prevent Dutch Elm Disease (STOPDED), in cooperation with Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, promotes public awareness of DED through media events and trade shows. DED Awareness Week is recognized annually throughout the province from June 24-30.