LETHBRIDGE, AB – Be on the look out for signs of Dutch Elm Disease (DED) this spring and summer

Lethbridge residents are being urged to abide by Alberta’s annual elm tree pruning ban that begins on Thursday, April 1st.

Last year, Lethbridge became the first community in the province with a confirmed case of Dutch Elm Disease. Two trees on the north side had to be destroyed after they tested positive.

The DED fungus is carried on the bodies of elm bark beetles which are attracted to the scent of fresh wounds caused by pruning during this time of year and the bugs could potentially infect healthy trees.

The disease is known to spread very quickly and could impact all of the city’s 12,000 elm trees in as little as five years.

Lethbridge residents are asked to determine if you have elm trees on your property to make sure not to prune them between April 1st and Sept. 30th,  monitor for and report any signs of DED, and properly dispose of illegal elm wood.

You’re asked to contact Lethbridge 311 if you have any questions about DED or how to properly identify elm trees.