The City of Grande Prairie has an annual elm pruning program that starts in the fall on City-owned elm trees throughout Grande Prairie, removing deadwood and addressing structural concerns. There are more than 3500 elm trees in Grande Prairie, valued at over $4 million. Alberta's elm trees are the last remaining Dutch elm disease free stand in the world and are worth $1 billion!
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 in 2017. 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.