PEI

Charlottetown to cut down half of city's elm trees

Charlottetown City Council voted Friday to cut down more than half of the city’s elm trees to stop the spread of Dutch Elm Disease.

Cost of cutting down the trees will be about $500,000

There is no cure for Dutch elm disease so infected trees must be cut down. (Lauren Golosky/CBC)

Charlottetown city council voted Friday to cut down more than half of the city’s elm trees to stop the spread of Dutch elm disease.

“These are all diseased trees and they are dying anyway,” said city councillor Kevin Ramsay.

He says if the affected trees aren’t cut down, they will die in two three years.

The city also says it’s a matter of safety because dead or diseased trees are more likely to come down during a storm.

The cost of cutting down the more than 300 trees will be about $500,000. The money will come from the 2015 capital budget.

About 200 of the trees are on private land.

For every tree that is cut down, another two will be planted. The replacements will be of different varieties.

Beth Hoar, a parkland conservationist with the city’s parks and recreation department, says the variation will make the trees “much more resistant to any other diseases and insects, pests that might come along.”

The city would like to have the trees cut down by the end of April while the beetles remain dormant and less likely to spread the disease.

The city plans to issue a request for proposals to have the trees cut down.

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