All species of elm trees in Alberta are susceptible to DED. If the fungus has infected a tree, it must be removed immediately to prevent further spread.
“Symptoms of DED infection are leaves initially wilting followed by curling, turning yellow and then brown,” says Janet Feddes-Calpas, STOPDED executive director. “This is also referred to as flagging. Leaf symptoms are usually accompanied by brown staining under the bark. Suspicious elms must be tested at a lab for the presence of the fungus. All DED suspect samples are tested at the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Plant Health Lab at no charge."
Elm bark beetles primarily spread the fungus from one tree to another. The beetles are attracted to weak and dying trees, which serve as breeding sites for the beetles. Once the beetles have pupated and turned into adults they leave the brood gallery and fly to healthy elms to feed, thus transporting the fungus on their bodies from one tree to the next. STOPDED monitors annually for the vectors throughout the province. In the last years, elm bark beetle numbers have not only increased but the number of municipalities - especially along the Alberta-Saskatchewan border - finding beetles is also increasing.
“For this reason, it is important that elm firewood not be transported into or within Alberta as the wood may be harbouring the bark beetles,” says Feddes-Calpas. Firewood is confiscated at all the Alberta-Montana border crossings.
All elm trees showing DED symptoms must be reported immediately. To report symptoms or for more information on how to take a sample, call the toll free provincial STOPDED hotline at 1-877-837-ELMS (3567). More information on DED and how to prevent it can be found at the STOPDED webpage.
To connect with STOPDED: