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Parks and Open Space

Dutch Elm Disease Service

Dutch Elm Disease Control

Elm Canopy

Official Public Notice RE: Dutch Elm Disease Control

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The City of Winnipeg, Dutch Elm Disease (D.E.D.) Control Program attempts to ensure the well being, longevity and enhancement of the urban elm forest within the City of Winnipeg through the delivery of effective disease control and tree maintenance services on both public and private lands.

In the delivery of this public service, the program is committed to adopt, develop or maintain and/or improve existing strategies to:

  • Identify all elm trees and stored elm wood locations that require further attention.
  • Maintain a current tree inventory.
  • Remove, or appropriately treat, all problem trees within accepted service standards.
  • Implement ongoing preventative procedures in elm tree maintenance and insect vector control.
  • Provide proactive tree replacement programs.
  • Research/develop new and existing strategies through various research institutions.
  • Provide information service through multimedia and on an individual basis.
  • Maintain/develop partnerships to enhance D.E.D. programs/procedures.

In addition to the above general program services, City of Winnipeg residents can request specific and detailed Dutch Elm Disease information from City of Winnipeg Dutch Elm Disease technicians and can also request inspections of specific elm trees of concern, at any location, to determine if trees have D.E.D.

What is Dutch Elm Disease, click here to connect to our Insect Control Web Page.

Common Questions:

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Can I store Elm wood for firewood?

The Forest Health Protection Act and Regulations prohibit the storage of elm wood for any purpose unless the wood has been treated as described below:

  1. all bark has been removed from the wood;
  2. the wood has been treated by
    1. kiln drying it to a moisture content of 18% or less, or
    2. heating it to 56°C for at least 30 minutes;
  3. the wood is chipped to have thickness of wood adhering to the bark in any dimension of not more than 5 cm; or
  4. a storage permit is obtained from the director.

The restriction on the storage of elm wood is necessary as the elm bark beetle uses intact wood as a site to lay eggs and develop a new generation of elm bark beetles. This brood wood results in an increase in the population of elm bark beetles, and more importantly, if the wood is infected with the DED fungus, the new generation of elm bark beetles carries that fungus on its body when it emerges from the brood wood in late summer and overwinters, and then transfer the DED fungus to healthy trees in the spring when it feeds in the canopy of elms - hence spreading the disease.

The Urban Forestry Branch recommends the best ways to dispose of elm wood are by 1) chipping the wood to pieces as indicated above (wood chips can be used as mulch), or 2) taking the wood to Brady Landfill.

If you know you have elm wood on your property and/or you have received a notice from the Urban Forestry Branch to dispose of the elm wood within 14 days of receipt of notice, you can burn the wood on site but you must obtain an open air burning permit obtained from the Fire Department's Fire Prevention Branch. More information on obtaining an open air burning permit can be viewed at the following link: http://winnipeg.ca/fps/FirePrevention/Regulations/Open-Air_Fires.stm or you can apply for a permit at the Fire Department - Fire Prevention Branch, located at 2nd Floor, 185 King St. between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm. Alternatively, you can dipose of the wood by chipping as per above or taking it to Brady Landfill.

If you have received a notice to dispose of the elm firewood in your yard and you are not sure which is elm - the elm logs are marked with red lumber crayon.

Once you have disposed of the wood, please notify the Urban Forestry Branch as indicated on the notice so we can confirm that you are in compliance with the notice.

Please note at no time is it legal to transport elm wood for any other reason than disposal at a landfill designated to receive elm wood (Brady Landfill in Winnipeg), AND at no time is it legal to store elm wood with intact bark, or that does not meet the criteria listed above as per the Forest Health Protection Act and Regulations, for burning or any other use.

How do I recognize if my tree is infected?

Look into the tree canopy, wilting of leaves is usually the first stage of DED, followed by yellowing then browning of the leaves. If you are unsure please call 311 for a Forestry Technician to inspect.

What should I do if the tree looks unhealthy?

The Urban Forestry Branch inspects all elm trees in Winnipeg for Dutch elm disease annually from mid-June to mid-September. If your elm tree looks unhealthy and you are not sure if it has DED, please call 311 - they will send a Service Request to the Urban Forestry Branch for a Technician to inspect the tree.

Can I remove the infected elm tree on my property?

Yes, complete removal to ground level can be done at any time. The stump should be debarked and all the wood disposed of at the Brady Landfill Site. Removals on private property done by the Urban Forestry Branch will occur at no charge to homeowner. These trees will be marked with orange flagging tape or paint.

When can I prune an Elm?

No person shall prune Elms during the period commencing April 1 and end July 31

Does the city have a DED Inspection Program?

Yes, inspections are done between mid-June and mid-September. The program also accepts and actions reports of illegal elm pruning and stored elm firewood.

What steps are taken once I ask for my tree to be inspected for DED?
  1. Tree will be inspected within the month
  2. If the tree is marked for removal (and on private property) the homeowner will receive notification in their mailbox.
  3. This notice will have an Urban Forestry contact number if they have further questions.
  4. The tree will be removed within 1 year. Note that the homeowner will be responsible for removing the stump.
  5. If the tree is not marked for removal (i.e. not DED) the homeowner will receive information on the diagnosis of the tree.

These services can be accessed through the City of Winnipeg, call 311.

What are elm tree injections?

There is a varierty of products registered for use in Canada as injection applications in the management of Dutch elm disease (DED). The City of Winnipeg currently does not use these treatments in its DED management program. As the City manages DED on a large scale, timely sanitation and elm bark beetle control are the strongest components in reducing the spread of the disease and preserving our elm canopy.

Some homeowners may choose to have trees of high value treated to preserve them. The treatments are most effective when applied to healthy trees and must be repeated annually every few years, depending on the product. Injection treatments are not intended to replace sanitation practices.

Some tree care companies offer these services in Winnipeg and these companies can be found in the yellow pages under "Tree Services". These treatments should be done by a professional arborist to ensure proper application. The arborist should also hold a valid Manitoba Pesticide Applicator License.

If homeowners wish to have elms on public or city-owned property treated at their own expense, they must hire contractor services via the property owner's agreement located at the following link: http://winnipeg.ca/publicworks/parksOpenSpace/UrbanForestry/Homeowner_Tree_Maintenance_Guidelines.stm

Update on Dutch Trig® Trial in Winnipeg
In 2010, the City of Winnipeg Urban Forestry Branch began a 5-year trial with Dutch Trig®: trial with approximately 200 trees in 3 areas of the city: Wildwood, Kildonan Park, and Elm Street. The purpose of the trial was to assess the practical application of Dutch Trig® on a large scale in the city's Dutch Elm Disease management program, including its effectiveness in preventing DED and the logistics of its application on a broad scale in concert with other management practices. After three years into the trial, there were no significant differences in the incidence of DED between the Dutch Trig®-treated trees and untreated trees. Unfortunately, as our brief pilot trial was not showing a benefit to our current management program, the trial was discontinued after 2012.

Urban Forestry Branch Contact Information:
1539 Waverley St., Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T 4V7
tel: 311, Fax: 204.222.2839


Last update: September 22, 2016
Contact the Public Works Department
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Phone, Fax, Email: 311