Saskatchewan residents are being reminded to not prune their elm trees during a five month period.
Elm tree pruning is prohibited from Saturday until Aug. 31.
Every year a ban is issued during this time to reduce the spread of Dutch elm disease (DED).
The province said in a news release “the elm bark beetles that spread the disease are most active this time of year. Fresh cuts from pruning can attract the insects and increase the chance of a DED infection.”
The province recommends removing and disposing of DED-infected elms as soon as possible.
The province said because elm firewood can spread DED, it is illegal to use, transport, store or sell elm wood for any purpose.
If residents hire someone to prune their trees, they are encouraged to check their qualifications. It is law that commercial pruners of elm trees must complete a recognized training program or be under the supervision of someone who has.
Improper pruning techniques can spread DED and other tree diseases. Proper pruning outside the annual ban period helps keep elm trees healthy and more resistant to all diseases, including DED. Furthermore, removing dead and dying elm wood also means fewer places for beetles to breed.