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Pruning Trees2017-2018 Elm Pruning Program

Starting October 1st, 2017, Parks Operations will begin their annual elm pruning program on City-owned elm trees throughout Grande Prairie, removing deadwood and addressing structural concerns.

The elm bark beetles that carry Dutch elm disease are attracted to the smell of both dead elm wood and freshly cut elm wood.  In order to lower the risk of attracting the beetles, Alberta has a province wide elm pruning ban in place from April 1st to September 30th every year, when they are generally active.  

It is extremely important to adhere to the elm pruning ban, as well as the rest of the provincial Dutch elm disease Response Plan, as elm bark beetles were discovered in Grande Prairie for the first time this summer.  Luckily, Dutch elm disease has not yet been found on any elm bark beetles in Alberta, and some cities have had beetle populations since the 1990s.  

By working together to follow the pruning ban, keep elm trees healthy and free of deadwood, and never transporting elm firewood, we can ensure Alberta's elm trees remain healthy and vigorous for years to come.

If you have any questions regarding the annual elm pruning program or trees in general, please call Parks Operations at 780-830-5018.

Help us keep you safe! Please obey all posted signs and keep back from barriers and pylons when our tree crew is working.

Why Do We Prune?

Before pruning takes place, a tree is evaluated for overall health and vigour.  Reasons that City-owned trees are pruned include:

  1. Hazard Pruning - the tree/limb has the potential to fail (break or fall), it exists in a location that may contribute to its failure, and a person/property would be injured or damaged should the failure occur.  Hazard pruning for safety reasons is top priority and will be completed as soon as possible.
  2. Crown Raising - lower branches are removed to provide clearance for traffic, sightlines, and pedestrians.
  3. Crown Cleaning - removal of dead, dying, diseased or broken branches.
  4. Crown Thinning - removal of obstructing, weak or crossing branches to improve light penetration, air circulation, and the structural integrity of the tree.

All pruning is conducted in accordance with International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) standard practices.  More information can be found on the ISA website.

Last updated: 9/27/2017 11:10:45 AM