Between September 18-22, the city is taking another step against Dutch elm disease.

"What we're doing next week, weather dependent," explained City Park's Manager, Rod March, "is we're going to be implementing a basal spray program on all the city owned elm trees."

"We have approximately 800-900 city boulevard trees that we're going to treat and the reason for that is to reduce the beetle population. We monitor for those beetles throughout the city and those traps get sent to the Ministry of Environment. So what we're doing is to reduce the beetle population, which is the vector for Dutch elm disease, we're applying a pesticide at the bottom of the elm tree."

The spray being used is called Pyrate 480 EC and has been approved for outdoor use in controlling a number of different insects. It is commonly used on golf courses and along city medians. It last for two years. 

"It's an accepted standard by the municipality and many other municipalities use it."

He adds that information will be given to residents who live near trees that will be sprayed. Also, all treated trees will be marked with a spray painted dot. All city owned trees will be treated and there will be higher concentrations throughout the Southern, Hillside, Pleasantdale and Cemetery areas.

"If people want information on they ways they can treat their own trees in their backyard to help reduce the beetle population, they can always give me a call and I can discuss the options with them."

"Like any other chemical, once it's dry on a surface, it's relatively safe. And it's only on the bottom half a meter of the trees and it doesn't take very long and it's dry, within minutes. Anyone who has any concerns can always phone the Parks Division and I can give them additional information."

He adds that they were lucky this year that they didn't have any confirmed cases of Dutch elm but he knows that many areas around Estevan did have infected trees. 

"That doesn't mean that it isn't here, but every sample I've taken and sent away came back negative but there could be one lurking in the bushes, you can't get every tree, you can't sample every tree. But the ones that I sent were all negative so I was really happy about that. But I do know that a lot of municipalities around us are all stepping up their game in terms of what they're doing as well. I'm just being proactive."

"This is just one more way to make sure, or at least help try and save our trees. This is a perfect time to make a preemptive strike to get rid of the beetles."

He adds that it is still illegal to store and transport elm wood. 

READ MORE: Estevan Reports Zero Cases of Dutch Elm Disease


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