Regina residents can expect to rake up a lot more elm tree seeds this spring, according to the city’s manager of forestry, pest control and horticulture.
Due to last summer’s dry conditions, Russell Eirich said the trees are producing way more seeds than usual. Over the next couple weeks, he added, we’ll see the bunches turn from light green to brown and fall off.
“It’s going to be a nuisance. It’s going to make a mess in people’s yards, but essentially all they need to do is rake them up,” said Eirich.
However, just because the seeds are turning colour, he assured it doesn’t mean the trees are dying.
“We can say that, right now, it’s not Dutch elm disease — it’s not a disease in the elms — it’s just the trees doing what they do naturally.”
The city lost 10 trees to Dutch elm disease last year, which is double its yearly average.
So far this spring, the city hasn’t flagged any cases of the fungal disease.
How to water efficiently in dry conditions
When it comes to watering, Eirich said it’s all about making sure the moisture gets down to the roots.
“Just watering your lawn is not enough,” he said. “Punch holes through the sod, and then just let the hose really trickle out nice and slow, then the water will bypass the grass through those holes and get down into the root zone.”
As for the city’s watering efforts this year, Eirich said there will be a number of crews out giving newer trees in parks and along boulevards a drink.
He estimated Regina has around 4,800 trees, which will each be watered around every 10 days.
Eirich added the city’s full watering program will run every day this summer starting mid-June.