Dutch Elm Disease Control Program


Dutch Elm Disease (DED) is a fungal disease of elm trees which is spread by the elm bark beetle. DED can affect any elm tree and once infected, the disease always kills – over several seasons or sometimes in as little as three weeks.

One of the most important ways that you can help prevent the spread of invasive pests is to avoid the illegal practice of transporting firewood or wood products from an infested area into and around the province.


How to Identify an Elm Tree

The trees along your street are beautiful, but if you don’t know whether they are elm trees, you don’t know if they are in danger. In many parts within Wolseley, American elms can grow very large, spreading an umbrella-like canopy.

Leaves are oval shaped, with pointed tip and serrated edges.

The bark is usually light to dark grey with a grooved surface.

Siberian or Manchurian elms are also susceptible to DED. They can take form of shrubby hedges or single trees. The leaves are smaller and more elongated than those of the American elm.

What is Dutch Elm Disease?

Dutch Elm Disease (DED) is a deadly fungus disease that can infect and kill an elm tree by clogging its water conducting vessels.

In Saskatchewan, the disease is spread by the native elm bark beetle. The DED fungus becomes attached to the beetles during its breeding period and is then spread as the beetle moves to healthy elms to feed and over winter.

There is no cure for DED and infected trees should be removed immediately and disposed of by either burning or burial.

When did Dutch Elm Disease first appear in Saskatchewan?

DED first appeared in Saskatchewan when one infected elm was discovered in Regina in 1981.

DED has since become well established in the southeastern and northeastern areas of the province, having spread from Manitoba where it has been a problem since the 1970’s.


How can I tell if my elm has Dutch Elm Disease?

As early as June, the leaves on a DED-infected elm will wilt, turn yellow, then curl and brown. Symptoms usually appear first in the tree’s crown and can be seen until fall colors appear.

These symptoms do not guarantee the presence of DED as there are other diseases which exhibit similar symptoms. The only method to positively confirm the disease is through laboratory analysis.


What do I do if I think my trees have Dutch Elm Disease?

If you suspect any elm of having DED, please email the Town of Wolseley at townofwolseley@sasktel.net or call (306) 698-2477. We will report the tree to our inspectors and, if necessary, take samples to be analyzed in the laboratory.

As the Town of Wolseley considers DED prevention of utmost importance, this service is provided free of charge.


How do I prevent Dutch Elm Disease from spreading?

Keep your elms healthy by pruning dead or dying branches. Promptly dispose of any elm material at the Wolseley Landfill. Elm wood left laying around can harbor the native elm bark beetle.

Provincial regulations prohibit the pruning of elm trees between April 1 and August 31. The native elm bark beetle is most active during this period and is attracted to freshly cut elm.

Provincial regulations also prohibit the storage and transportation of elm for firewood.


What is the Town doing to prevent the spread of Dutch Elm Disease?

The Town of Wolseley has a relatively new DED prevention and control program put in place. Virtually all aspects are performed by fully trained and qualified contractors.

The Town contracts a qualified DED Surveillance Company to perform at least one inspection annually of all elms within the community (private and public). Basal spraying is also done to public elms and privately-owned elms following the receipt of written authorization from the property owner (see DED Control Program Application Form below).


Who do I contact for more information?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding Dutch Elm Disease, please do not hesitate to contact the Town of Wolseley at (306) 698-2477, email townofwolseley@sasktel.net, or contact the Government of Saskatchewan at 1-800-567-4224.


Sign up for Basal Spraying!

The Town of Wolseley has implemented a new DED prevention and control program. The program includes basal spraying of elm trees within the community.

If you are unsure whether your property has an elm tree, or you suspect any elm of having DED, please apply for basal spraying. As the Town of Wolseley considers DED prevention of utmost importance, the basal spraying service is provided to you FREE of charge.

*Please review Bylaw No. 03-2022 – The Dutch Elm Disease Bylaw to know your responsibilities as a property owner

Complete the DED Control Program Application Form and return to:

ATTN: Town Office Administration
PO Box 310, 610 Varennes Street
Wolseley, SK S0G 5H0

or email to townofwolseley@sasktel.net.

Please Note: DED Control Program Application Forms must be completed on an annual basis and returned to the Town Office by June 30 each year.