Moose Jaw residents can now begin to prune their elm trees after the province lifted the yearly ban on Thursday.  

Elm trees are at risk of Dutch Elm Disease (DED), which is the infestation of elm bark beetles that spread a fungus that ends up killing the tree.  

With the provincial ban lifted the question remains, how can residents safely dispose of the elm tree waste to prevent the spread of DED? 

City of Moose Jaw Parks Supervisor, Daily Lennox has that answer.  

“When you prune your elms, we would still ask you to call the Parks and Rec office and ask for an Elm Disposal Permit,” says Lennox. “When you do call, they’re going to ask you when you plan on taking it to the landfill, the license plate of the vehicle that might be going. You get the permit and you can safely transport your elm wood to the landfill where we dispose of it.” 

Lennox notes that the Elm Disposal Permit is completely free, along with zero cost to dispose of it at the landfill.  

Early fall generally offers an ideal setting for tree maintenance; with leaves still on the trees, homeowners have an easier time seeing and removing dead or unhealthy branches.   

The basis for pruning your elm trees is trying to maintain and keep your trees as healthy as possible to combat DED. 

“We never prune more than 20-25 per cent of live wood. Please remove all dead branches from your elm, because elm bark beetles are attracted to dead elm and dead branches, but don’t over prune the healthy branches.” 

So far this year the city has confirmed 21 cases of elm trees that have tested positive for DED, with additional dead trees that crews have had to remove.  

In Saskatchewan, it is illegal to transport or store elm firewood. The wood can carry the elm bark beetles, and transported wood is one of the main ways the disease spreads. 

Each year, provincial regulations prohibit pruning elm trees from April 1 to Aug. 31 to reduce the risk of spreading Dutch Elm Disease (DED).   

For people that want to know more information on elm tree maintenance and how to safely dispose of your waste visit the City of Moose Jaw’s website.

Lennox also is advising people to call the Parks Department at 306-694-4400 to help identify if you have an elm tree on your property.  

If you suspect an elm tree may have DED, call the Ministry of Environment's general inquiry line at 1-800-567-4224.