FTLComm - Tisdale - March 17, 1999

The battle for Tisdale's Elm trees has begun as this crew is working their way up and down street after street pruning the Elm trees. They are removing any dead branches, damaged bark, anything, that will invite the deadly parasites into the tree. The beetle that carries the scourge invades the tree and whole thing becomes infected through its circulatory system and once attacked it is always fatal.

Many believe that Regina and Saskatoon's urban forest of Elm trees are doomed and it is only a matter of time until they will all have to be cut down.

The tree plague has been working its way across the continent for more then two decades and is relentless in its remarkable success. This is truly a commendable campaign waged by the Town of Tisdale and supported by the Province.
The equipment being used can reach almost forty feet up to remove dead branches and this crew was efficiently working their way down street after street keeping their truck and driver busy hauling away for burning the removed branches.

From this picture we can see the extensive work they have carried out on some trees. The younger trees on the right have less damaged limbs to be removed but with them the work appears to go much slower as the workman carefully goes over every part of the tree in the process.

This example on the left was pretty extensive.

It is remarkable that a tree can handle such trimming and from our experience we know that a tree like this one will actually do quite well as it will develop a health growth early into the summer, yet the assault from the bug that carries the deadly Dutch Elm disease can kill the tree from within.

Many are suggesting that the only hope for our trees is to develop a resistant variety of the Elm tree that will not be affected. Though that sounds like we are admitting defeat it is only realistic to plan for the damage that we can expect in the years to come.

The Spruce Budworm infestations in Saskatchewan are also out of control and threaten most of the commercial forests of the province. This problem is very similar in the way it has spread across the country though it has taken a long time it is having a serious affect on forests in Eastern Canada where everyone is conceding defeat.