“Trees shade and cool our homes, bring songbirds close by, mark the changing seasons. Kids can climb them or build a tree house in their branches. For all of us, trees are a source of lumber, food, and countless products – and they beautify our communities and countryside. But equally important, trees conserve energy, reduce soil erosion, clean the air we breathe, and help protect rivers and streams. If trees are to provide all these benefits, we need to care for the trees we have, and to plant more. As you plant and care for your trees, you can be sure that you are making the future better for your family, your neighborhood, your countryside, your world. ” – Arbor Day Foundation
The goal of the Dutch Elm Disease Program is to slow the spread of Dutch Elm Disease to a rate where the tree canopy stays the same, only with new tree replacements moving into the tree population at the same rate as losses. This can be seen throughout the older established neighborhoods in Grand Forks. The first case of Dutch Elm Disease in Grand Forks was discovered in 1979. From 1979 to 2020, the Forestry Department removed 9,200 diseased elms and due to their efforts around 3,000 are left on the berms and in the parks today. The Forestry Department also are working to plant new Dutch Elm Disease resistant species of elms throughout Grand Forks.
- Scouting for diseased elms, firewood piles and other sources of elm beetle nesting sites.
- Removal of confirmed diseased trees on berms, parks, private property and the city river corridor.
- Removal of confirmed diseased trees on private property is free to homeowners.
- General berm tree tree maintenance (pruning, removal, and planting) contributes extensively to the program.
Does your tree have Dutch Elm Disease?
During the months of June, July, and August, a Grand Forks Park District scout continually surveys all elm trees for signs of Dutch Elm Disease. The scouts inspect all elms on berms, parks, private property and the river corridor. The first evidence of the disease generally is wilting or flaggling in one or more of the upper branches. Leaves on affected branches turn dull green to yellow and curl, then become dry and brittle, and turn brown. Peeling bark from wilted branches reveals light to dark brown streaks. The scouts test the samples and if positive the trees are marked and a notice is left for the homeowner.
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is native to eastern Asia and it is believed that this beetle was unintentionally brought to the U.S. in infested ash crates or pallets. The most recent findings have been in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 2017, Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 2018 and Sauk Centre, Minnesota in 2019. EAB has already killed 100’s of millions ash trees within North America. Federal and state quarantines have been imposed that regulate the interstate movement of ash material from infested areas.
Description: Adult beetles are a half inch long and slender. The wing covers are rough metallic emerald green and the rest of the body appears metallic golden green.
Damage & Symptoms: EAB attacks and kills all ash species and cultivars regardless of the tree’s health or size. Larvae damage the conductive tissues and restrict the trees ability to move nutrients. The first visible symptoms are thinning and dieback of foliage. After dieback, trees often grow a large mass of shoots below the infested area. Close inspection may reveal “D” shaped exit holes, vertical splits in the bark over the infested area, and serpentine tunnels under the bark.
EAB & North Dakota: At this time, no evidence of EAB has been detected in North Dakota or Grand Forks. EAB can move only short distances on its own, but when transported by way of infected ash materials, the beetles can move from one state to another in a matter of hours. Annually, the Grand Forks Park District Forestry Department works with the ND Department of Agriculture in setting EAB traps throughout Grand Forks. The traps are inspected throughout the season to detect any signs of EAB.
What can you do? When camping, leave your firewood at home and purchase local campsite firewood. Only purchase what you will use. Burn all wood and do not travel with wood. When at home, only purchase from local firewood sources and burn wood within the season. Diversify your tree plantings (do not put all your eggs in one basket).
Recommended Tree Species: Linden Cultivars, Crab Cultivars, Emerald Luster Maple, Unity Sugar Maple, Ohio Buckeye, Black Walnut, Hackberry, Northern Acclaim Honeylocust, Bur Oak, Japanese Tree Lilac, Prairie Expedition Elm, Cathedral Elm, Discovery Elm.