It is something the City of Weyburn has been doing for a number of years to help prevent the spread of Dutch elm disease. After this year, however, basal spraying in the City of Weyburn will be ending as the insecticide used will no longer be available.  

Curtis Block is the Parks Manager for the City of Weyburn. He explained the program would be done over the course of two days as long as the conditions cooperate. 

“We are preparing for basal spraying operations, weather permitting, on Wednesday, October 4th in garbage collection areas 1 and 5, and then again on Thursday, October 5th in garbage collection areas 2, 3 and 4, from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.,” Block said. “There will be signage in place indicating where spraying is actively in progress, and as well you may likely see staff in full protective gear.” 

The spraying is the process of spraying the bottom half meter of elm trees with the insecticide to help control the elm bark beetle, which is the carrier of the fungus that spreads Dutch elm disease.  

“The spray is applied with a backpack sprayer at low pressure,” Block continued. “This is to help ensure that there is no spray drift – the insecticide soaks in very quickly into the bark,” Block noted the spray is not a cure-all for the beetle, but only a tool to help limit the spread.  

Residents of Weyburn are reminded it is illegal to transport or store elm wood, or to use elm wood as firewood. When it is pruned outside the annual pruning ban from April to the end of August, the wood needs to be promptly disposed of, which can be done at the City of Weyburn landfill.  

While basal spraying will not be an option after this year, Block urged everyone to continue to be vigilant regarding Dutch elm disease. This includes following the pruning ban that goes into effect each year, as well as watching for the signs of Dutch elm disease during the spring and summer months.  

“It’s unfortunate there’s no cure for this disease. Once the tree has it, there’s no curing it. It’s just simply removing it. That’s about all you can do once it’s been infected.” 

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