Elm Pruning Ban Lifted

The only time it is legal to prune elms in Alberta is between October 1 and March 31. The elm bark beetles that carry the deadly Dutch Elm Disease (DED) are not active at this time of year. With the annual elm pruning ban lifted until March 31, 2017, there is time now to do some pruning before the cold weather sets in.

Regular pruning to remove dead wood helps eliminate elm bark beetle habitat. However, improper pruning including topping or removing an excessive amount of live wood is not recommended, as this weakens the tree’s structure and shorten its lifespan. Janet Feddes-Calpas, executive director, Society to Prevent Dutch Elm Disease (STOPDED) reminds gardeners “It’s essential that all pruned elm wood be properly disposed of by burning, burying, or chipping by March 31. And, it’s illegal to store elm firewood since it could be harboring elm bark beetles.”

While Alberta is still free of DED, its borders are being pressed from two sides. Both Saskatchewan and Montana are battling the disease. Once an elm is infected with DED there is no cure and it must be removed and destroyed immediately.

Elm trees can be recognized by their vase-shaped outline and simple leaves with coarsely toothed edges. Alberta has the largest DED-free American elm stands in the world. Since its introduction from Europe in 1930, this fungal disease has killed millions of American elm trees across North America. Feddes-Calpas says “We must stay vigilant to keep our elms healthy. DED can be prevented.”

If you are not sure if you have an elm tree in your yard or you have questions about pruning contact Lac Ste. Anne County Horticulturist Lorraine Taylor at 1-866-880-5722 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information about DED call the STOPDED hotline at 1-877-837-ELMS or visit www.stopded.org.

About the County

Lac Ste. Anne County is a governing body in central Alberta, Canada. Its administrative office is located at 56521, Range Road 65, Lac Ste. Anne County, near the Hamlet of Sangudo — about an hour's drive west of Edmonton. Founded in 1944, Lac Ste. Anne County's namesake comes from its largest and most historically significant body of water, Lac Ste. Anne. // MORE

Contact Information

  Box 219, Sangudo AB T0E 2A0
 lsac (@) lsac.ca
 1-866-880-5722
 (780) 785-3411
 (780) 785-2359