Municipalities have a role to play in controlling the spread of Dutch Elm Disease
Alberta has the largest stand of Dutch Elm Disease (DED) free elms in North America valued at $2 billion. These elms are found in municipalities, rural properties, shelterbelts, and provincial parks. The pathogens, the vectors, and the European and native elm bark beetles, are all regulated under the Agricultural Pests Act
(APA). Under the APA, municipalities must appoint inspectors to carry out the requirements of the APA and its regulations. Alberta has DED Prevention / Control Measures
in place that are enforceable under the APA.
After many years of being DED free, two trees tested positive in Lethbridge in 2020. Fortunately, the trees were on public property and the city removed and disposed of the trees quickly and eradication was successful. Rapid detection and control is necessary to continue to protect Alberta’s elm trees, and is facilitated by municipalities through their regulated pest control powers under the APA. For many RMA members, agricultural fieldmen fill the role of pest inspectors.
For more information on the control of DED, visit the Stop DED website
Director of External Relations & Advocacy