The City of Steinbach is working to remove and replace diseased Elm and Ash trees.
Head of Steinbach Parks and Recreation Russ Dyck says they recently cut down four Ash trees along Main Street right in front of the Steinbach Credit Union. He notes though they are not entirely sure, they believe the trees were killed by a pest called the Cottony Ash Psyllid.
"That is something that we are looking for in a number of our trees, hopefully, it doesn’t affect too many of them. We are looking at replacing a lot of our Ash trees. The city isn’t really planting any new Ash trees anymore with the Ash Borer coming as well, it has not been detected in Steinbach yet but in Winnipeg last year. It is a concern because we have a large population of Ash trees, it is by far our biggest number in terms of species."
In addition to Ash tree removal, Manitoba Conservation has been in Steinbach over the past few weeks marking Elm trees that have Dutch Elm Disease. Dyck says those trees will be cut down by the City of Steinbach in late fall or early winter.
Steinbach Resident Erin Unger says it was tough to stomach the news that the large Elm tree in her back yard will have to be removed.
"It is a very big tree, my husband and I tried to put our arms around it, holding hands, and we couldn’t wrap our arms around it, it would probably take a third person. It is really big, it shades our yard and it shades our neighbours yard as well. We will miss the beauty the tree brings, it will definitely change the landscape, it will feel different, feel more empty."
Unger says though it will be hard to see it go, they don’t want their sick tree affecting others in the neighbourhood so it is necessary to pull it down.
Dyck says, unfortunately, there are no fool-proof ways to prevent Dutch Elm Disease, but the city does their best to limit the disease’s effects.
"The city is also involved in a lot of other preventative measures with Elm trees, we do basal spraying every two years of all Elm trees in Steinbach, both private and public trees as well as there are some city trees in more prominent parks that we do injections on. Some other preventative measures are pruning deadwood out of Elm trees so that is something that we do as well."