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Dutch Elm Disease

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What is Dutch Elm Disease?

DED is caused by a fungus that kills American elm trees. The fungus is mainly spread from elm to elm by native elm bark beetles when they feed in the canopy of elms and overwinter under the bark at the base of the trees. The bark beetles breed in dead and dying elm material including elms infected with DED. For this reason, much of DED management centers on the removal and sanitation of this material

Elm firewood can contribute to the spread of DED and it is illegal to store or transport in Manitoba. If elm wood has been marked on a property, the owner must destroy (burn, chip) the wood or take it to a designated elm wood disposal site (usually the local landfill) within two weeks.

A management program has been in existence since 1975, and is currently active in 38 communities that have significant urban elm populations including the City of Winnipeg, Steinbach, Brandon, Portage la Prairie, and Morden.

Dutch Elm Disease Surveys

Each summer, provincially appointed inspectors search for elm firewood and diseased elm trees in each of the managed communities. Dead and infected elm trees are highly attractive to bark beetles.

If elm wood or DED infected trees are found on the property, the inspectors will make a record of the detection, mark the material with orange tree marking paint, fasten a metal tag to the material, and leave a letter at the property.

You Can Help

Urban elms in DED managed communities continue to thrive 40 years after DED was first detected in this province. Much of the success of the Dutch Elm Disease Management Program in Manitoba is a result of public participation and cooperation.

To report elm wood or a potentially infested tree, or for more information on the program, please contact: Provincial Tree Line: 204-945-7866

Source: Government of Manitoba, Natural Resources and Northern Development