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Dutch Elm Disease program underway with additional COVID-19 precautions

Posted: July 9, 2020

Dutch Elm Disease program underway with
additional COVID-19 precautions

The 2020-2021 Dutch Elm Disease (DED) program, a partnership between East St. Paul and the Province of Manitoba Forestry Department, is beginning this week across the Province and while residents may be familiar with the program there will be some differences this year due to COVID-19.

Provincial surveyors will be driving or walking around both public and private properties while they work. They wear high visibility vests and Government issued identification and this year, staff may also be wearing masks or other personal protective equipment (PPE), due to COVID-19. 

In support of physical distancing measures, staff may not approach every resident or house before entering onto properties to conduct surveys.   

Surveyors will still ring doorbells or knock on doors prior to taking branch samples, marking trees, or identifying firewood piles for removal and they will always maintain at least two metres distance between themselves and others, and we ask that residents respect this policy when approaching our staff as well. 

The program aims to identify and remove infected Elm trees within the municipality. 

Surveyors from the Province will identify and tag trees that have DED. Surveyors will be driving vehicles that have signs on the side of their vehicles that say, "Manitoba Conservation" or "Sustainable Development". 

Crews will drive slowly down each street and back lane looking for elm wood or trees. They will be walking around on both public and private properties while they conduct their work.  

Properties that cannot be easily seen from roads or back lanes will be surveyed by foot (i.e. riverbank properties). The crews have binoculars and may use them to look at the crowns of trees for DED symptoms, or they may use them to look at firewood piles. 

The municipality will provide the service for removal of infected Dutch Elm trees that are tagged by the Province. If a tree or multiple trees are tagged on your property, contractors hired by the RM go onsite throughout the winter months to remove the infected tree(s).  

They will be in contact with you at a later date, but before the end of the year. There is a specific process to be followed in order to remove and dispose of infected trees in order to not spread the disease. 

If you are concerned that a tree on your property may be infected with DED or you have other questions related to DED, please call the provincial tree line at 204-945-7866 or treeline@gov.mb.ca.


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