The Fight Against Dutch Elm Beetles

FTLComm - Tisdale - Tuesday, September 18, 2001
This map spread out in the back of a Town of Tisdale pickup, along with a large water tank, containers of insecticide and a hand operated sprayer tell the story. A yellow suited two man crew began work yesterday applying bug killer chemicals to every Elm tree in Tisdale.

From the map above you can see the extent of the task. The insect that spreads this tree killing infection heads into a tree looking for dead limbs were it sets up shop and within days the deed has been done and the tree is condemned.

The blight has been slowly creeping across North America from the East and though most expected to see it emerge onto the prairies it was surprising how swiftly it has moved along the small river valleys. In Saskatchewan the Qu'Appelle and Carrot River are most affected with absolute total destruction in some communities like Lumsden. The cities of Brandon, Regina and Saskatoon have taken what measures they can to stop the spread of the infection but few expect even modest success against such a devastating enemy.