The City of Regina has confirmed its first case of Dutch Elm Disease this summer.
City workers cut down the diseased tree on Dalgliesh Drive in northwest Regina Wednesday morning.
Regina's Manager of Forestry Ray Morgan says the city is lucky that the disease was found in its northwest.
"It's almost like a buffer into the core of Regina, where we have more densely populated elms. One elm tree with Dutch Elm Disease —there's a likelihood there's going to be more in that area," Morgan said Wednesday.
Signs of Dutch Elm Disease
- Wilting leaves
- Yellow leaves, if trees are infected in the spring or early summer
- Brown leaves that don't fall off trees, if trees are infected in late summer
There are strict regulations in place to prevent the spread of the disease from tree to tree. For example, it is against provincial regulations to prune elm trees from April 1 to August 31.
The disease is caused by a fungus that attaches itself to an elm bark beetle. The elm bark beetle then spreads the disease to elm trees. The trees die from a lack of moisture caused by the fungus preventing nutrients and water from travelling to the canopy leaves.
Since 1981, 77 trees have been lost to Dutch Elm Disease. An average of three to four trees are destroyed annually. The city credits sharp-eyed and proactive citizens with those relatively low numbers.
Infected trees must be cut down because there is no cure for Dutch Elm Disease.
Anyone who notices signs that a tree may be infected is asked to contact the city.