As of September 1st, elm pruning is officially allowed again, with many people likely looking forward to getting a bit of yard work in while the temperature remains seasonable.
However, even though the restrictions around cutting have been lifted, others are in place for the handling of said wood due to the threat of Dutch Elm Disease.
Dutch Elm Disease is a fungal infection that is passed by elm beetles, who keep spores on their legs and pass the disease from tree to tree.
The fungus causes the tree to block off parts of its body to prevent it from spreading, though as a side effect that causes trees to not be able to properly move water throughout their body, eventually killing the tree.
City Manager of Leisure Services, Parks, and Facilities Rod March explains what they've seen so far for Dutch Elm Disease in Estevan.
"The Dutch Elm disease, which is fungus brought in on the legs of the elm beetle, we did have our survey done this year as we do every year," said March, "There was a couple of incidents of Dutch Elm in the city which is not horrible. Every year we get one or two but we try to keep it at bay by getting rid of those trees right away that are infected."
March also said that the position of Estevan is especially advantageous to fight Dutch Elm Disease.
Even with that benefit, the main source of the disease in Estevan is human intervention.
"We've certainly had levels of it in terms of two, three, four trees, which is not too bad. Our neighbouring communities I know have been hit pretty bad. Keep in mind," said March, "Estevan is like an isolated urban forest if you will, where the elm beetle, there's no contiguous forest to bring it, so the way the beetle is usually transported is through firewood."
If you plan on cutting down any elm trees this fall, March says that you'll also have to adhere to regulations on where those trimmings go once you're done with them.
"Thing is, you still cannot store elm trees, like wood, you know if you do trim your trees it has to be brought to the landfill either to be buried and/or burned. These are provincial legislation," said March, "So if you do prune your elm trees or have them pruned they must be taken to the landfill and burned immediately.