Thursday, 24 January 2013 08:33

Dutch Elm Disease confirmed in Maple Creek

Written by  Alberta Agriculture
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In August 2012, for the first time a single American elm tree was diagnosed positive for Dutch elm disease (DED) in the Town of Maple Creek. Maple Creek is only 100 kilometers east of the City of Medicine Hat. The news was announced Jan. 21.


Since 2001, Moose Jaw has been the closest community to Alberta with active DED infections.

This DED infected elm tree was growing in a back alley and was promptly removed and buried at the community’s landfill. After a thorough inspection of the area by officials from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment, no elm firewood was found. The Town of Maple Creek plans to schedule additional elm tree surveys for DED in 2013. Banded elm bark beetles (BEBB), believed to be a potential vector of DED, have been found for the past several years by the community’s elm bark beetle monitoring program.

“In Alberta, the Society to Prevent Dutch Elm Disease (STOPDED) administers an elm bark beetle monitoring program in municipalities throughout the province,” says Janet Feddes-Calpas, STOPDED executive director. “Since 2006, BEBB have been found in the south east corner of Alberta in the municipalities of Medicine Hat, Irvine, Dunmore and Walsh. Numbers captured have been increasing annually.”

DED is prevalent in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. It extends throughout the entire natural range of elms in Manitoba, spreading across the southern and central regions of the province from the Manitoba-Ontario border into Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan also reports DED along the Qu’Appelle, Carrot, Saskatchewan and Souris river systems. DED has moved along the Qu’Appelle river system all the way to Buffalo Pound Provincial Park. Buffalo Pound Provincial Park is located 30 kilometers north of Moose Jaw and has lost hundreds of elm to DED infections. DED is found annually in low numbers in the City of Moose Jaw.

To help prevent DED, Albertans can follow pruning guidelines and be sure that they do not transport elm firewood into or around the province. More information on safe pruning and other precautions can be found on the STOPDED website.

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