The City of Estevan has received their test results back for Dutch elm disease from the many samples sent throughout the summer.
"I'm very happy to say that they were all negative," explained Rod March, Parks Manager with the City of Estevan, "which means there was no Dutch elm disease that showed up in the city this year. So we're very happy about that, but that being said, we are still vigilant in that we want to try to do everything we can to save the elm trees."
He adds that with reports of other communities dealing with Dutch elm, he was nervous about Estevan's results.
"I did take quite a few samples but this year being such a dry year, the trees showed that they were symptomatic."
One of the first signs of Dutch elm disease is yellowing of leaves. However, that is also a sign of lack of water.
"Our goal is trying to make our trees healthy."
He also mentioned that residents are now able to prune their elm trees as well.
"As of September 1, people can prune elm trees. They still must destroy that wood once they prune. Bring those branches and any debris to the landfill for burning and/or burying."
He added that storing or transport elm throughout the province is still not allowed.
Another step in keeping the elm trees healthy, is pest control. The City of Estevan has around one thousand city owned elm trees and to keep them safe, he explained that an insecticide will be applied to all the elm trees that kills the beetle which carries the disease.
"It lasts about two years. That will help our trees by reducing the beetle population. It's a provincially accepted standard to use pyrate for reduction in beetle population."
He explains that they water and fertilize the trees regularly and will begin pruning soon.
"Our goal in the fall, we will be doing a lot of tree pruning as we move into the winter months. Right now as the leaves drop, it's a good time to be handling that."
He adds that the mosquito program is winding down this week.