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Charlottetown to cut more diseased elm trees this fall

Charlottetown plans to cut down 90 more elm trees this fall as it continues to grapple with the spread of Dutch elm disease, issuing a request for proposals to remove some elm trees.

90 more elms on private and public property must come down, City says

Last year the city removed close to 350 diseased elm trees. (CBC )

Charlottetown plans to cut down 90 more elm trees this fall as it continues to grapple with the spread of Dutch elm disease, and has issued a request for proposals to remove the trees.

Last year the city removed close to 350 diseased elm trees, at a cost of about half a million dollars, in the hopes that would reduce the spread of the fungus. 

Infected and dead elm trees will be removed as part of the work, including those on private property.— City of Charlottetown

"DED [Dutch elm disease] is an incurable and, for the most part, deadly fungal disease of elm trees," city officials explained via a written news release. 

Fungal spores are often spread from diseased trees to healthy elms by elm bark beetles. The fungus clogs the vessels that transport water and nutrients up and down the tree, which usually kills the tree in three to five years.

"All DED infected and dead elm trees will be removed as part of the work, including those on private property. This work will be paid for by the City," the release explained. "Residents will be contacted by the City if they have any affected elm trees on their property."

'Trying to slow the progress'

If not controlled, the disease can quickly spread to remaining healthy elm trees "resulting in even more loss of the City's largest and most beautiful trees," officials added. 

The City has been trying to slow the progress of Dutch elm by closely monitoring trees on public and private property. Removals are done in the fall of the year that the tree is identified as having the disease, officials said. The wood must then be disposed of properly to avoid further spread of the disease.

The removal work is scheduled to begin in mid- to late October.

"The City remains committed to its DED management program and trying to slow the progress of the disease to extend the life of the remaining elms," the release concluded. 

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