The annual restriction on pruning elm trees in Saskatchewan ends August 31. Starting September 1, homeowners are encouraged to prune their elms to help keep them healthy.
Each year, pruning of elm trees is prohibited from April 1 to August 31 to reduce the risk of Dutch elm disease (DED). The elm bark beetles that spread the deadly disease are most active during this period, and fresh cuts tend to attract them.
Regular pruning, outside the ban period, helps keep trees healthy and better able to resist all types of disease, including DED. Removing dead wood also makes trees less attractive to elm bark beetles. Early fall can be a good time for tree maintenance, with generally more pleasant and predictable weather than early spring. Having leaves still on the trees makes it easier to spot and remove dead or unhealthy branches.
Improper pruning techniques can spread DED and other tree diseases, so it's important to prune correctly, whether you hire someone or choose to do it yourself. Under the provincial DED regulations, commercial pruners of elm trees must complete a recognized training program or be supervised by someone who has.
Due to the risk of spreading DED, transporting or storing elm firewood is illegal. Any elm wood should be disposed of promptly, by burning or burying it in a location approved by the local municipality. For more information on designated disposal areas and common practices in your area, check with your local municipal authority.
For more information about Dutch elm disease, or to report a suspicious tree, contact the Ministry of Environment's general inquiry line at 1-800-567-4224.