- Trees add beauty and give
character to communities.
- Trees reduce heating and
- Trees protect us from dangerous
- Trees prevent both wind
and water erosion.
- Trees convert carbon dioxide
- Trees increase the value
of real estate.
- Trees reduce noise, dust
and air pollution.
- There are approximately
400,000 American elms planted in villages, towns and cities throughout
Saskatchewan. Of these, roughly 90,000 are in Saskatoon and 100,000
- Up to 90% of the street
and boulevard trees in older neighbourhoods within these communities
are American elms.
- There are thousands of miles
of farm shelterbelt made up in part or in whole of American and Siberian
(also called Manchurian) elms.
- American elms began to be
planted extensively in Saskatchewan in about 1905 because they are the
ideal street tree for use in this province.
- American elms are not an
exotic species in Saskatchewan; they grow naturally in river valleys
throughout the province and are thus able to survive the natural stresses
of limited precipitation, cold winters and hot summers.
- In addition to natural stresses,
American elms are better able most other species to withstand the stresses
placed on trees in populated locations: eg. trampling, pruning and shaping
to ensure visibility, and pollution.
- Even the oldest planted
American elms in Saskatchewan are relatively young when compared with
the normal mature age for the species; under ideal conditions American
elms can live more than 400 years.
- Using criteria established
by the International Society for Arboriculture that are accepted by
Real Estate associations and insurance companies across North America,
the American elms planted in villages, towns and cities in Saskatchewan
can be valued at more than a billion dollars.
- Unless appropriate action
is taken, Saskatchewan's American elms could be virtually eradicated
in less than a decade by Dutch Elm Disease.
- Dutch Elm Disease is caused
by a fungus that was introduced North America from Europe in the 1930's.The
fungus blocks the tree's water conducting system. There is at present
no cure for DED. It is spread by minute beetles that require dead and
dying elm wood as breeding sites. The most effective way of controlling
Dutch Elm Disease is to ensure that dead and dying wood is removed from
live trees, and that dead and diseased wood is immediately destroyed
through burning or burying.
- The sudden loss of our American
elm trees would have a devastating impact on the quality of life in
Saskatchewan villages, towns, cities and rural areas: e.g. Landscapes
would be dramatically changed, air quality would deteriorate significantly,
wind shelter and shade loss would result in large increases in heating
and air conditioning,costs, and habitat for both migratory and resident
bird populations would be destroyed. Other short lived or less hardy
tree species might also die as they lose the wind shelter and moderating
micro-climate created by the elms.