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Fighting Dutch Elm Disease Any Way Possible

August 15, 2017

Some of the most notable hallmarks of our ward are our picturesque trees. 

In many ways, they define our neighbourhood. When Winnipeggers think about River Heights-Fort Garry, many of the things they love most about its historic streets are our tallest residents.

Protecting and adding to our green spaces, especially our trees, has been one of my main focuses as your city councillor over the years.

This spring, for example, we added 15 trees on Grant and Corydon Avenue’s medians to ensure trees are brought back to our thoroughfares. Look for more to be planted this fall and next year, made possible by a community grant, as we work to fill in all the gaps. 

In Lindenwoods this summer we continue to remove and replaceSchubert Chokecherry trees, which were infected with black knot fungus. In the past 4 years strides have been made to address this with hundreds of trees being replanted. This replanting is part of a 10-year replacement project throughout the city and will continue in our ward next summer.

As we know all too well, Dutch Elm Disease (DED) is a dire threat throughout Winnipeg.

Beginning in 2017, neighbourhoods in Wolseley, Wellington Crescent and Crescentwood with high densities of urban elm trees, including those on both public and private property, are part of a pilot project to develop the methodology to detect elm trees that contribute most to the spread of DED in our neighbourhoods.

Dr. Richard Westwood and students from the Environmental Studies and Sciences and the Biology programs at The University of Winnipeg will monitor infected trees during the summer. They will determine which trees are the best candidates for rapid removal to minimize the movement of disease carrying beetles to healthy elm trees. Brood trees will be identified by sampling for egg-laying galleries under the tree's main stem bark. Each diseased elm in the pilot area will have a section of bark removed to count the number of galleries in each sampled tree.

With an overall loss of approximately 5,000 elm trees citywide due to DED, the City of Winnipeg has been proud to partners with Trees Winnipeg to support the Winnipeg ReLeaf Program. For 2 years now, the Winnipeg ReLeaf has provided homeowners like you with quality, affordable trees for your property. For just $55 each, participants receive the tree collection(s) of their choice, along with all the supplies needed to give the trees the best start. While the annual deadline for sign up is in May, you can plan your order for next year at http://www.savetheelms.mb.ca/projects/reLeaf.php.

Do you know of an area of our ward that would look and feel better with trees? Have you seen trees that need attention? Let me know at jorlikow@orlikow.ca or 204-986-5236.

As appears in the Aug. 16 issue of thand online here: https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/our-communities/souwester/forum/Fighting-Dutch-elm-disease-any-way-possible--440341943.html