The City of Charlottetown began work yesterday to remove over 300 diseased elm trees throughout the City. The trees are diseased with Dutch elm disease (DED), an incurable and deadly fungal disease. The disease has affected municipalities across the country, causing major loss to urban forests. This spring, City Council made the difficult decision to remove 323 infected public and private trees in the effort to save the City’s remaining healthy elms.
"It is a sad time for all of City Council and City staff seeing these trees cut down," says Mayor Clifford Lee. "We know that we’ve made the right decision to remove these diseased trees in order to properly manage DED and protect the remaining healthy elms, but that doesn’t make it any easier to see them cut down. Some of these trees have been an important part of our City’s landscape for over a hundred years and it is a great loss to all of us that take such pride in maintaining a green City."
The City is encouraging members of the public to join in the recognition of these elms by posting a picture or story on social media about your favourite tree in Charlottetown. Use the hashtag #hugatree on Facebook or Twitter and the City will select the best photo or story posted to win a tree.
"We're currently looking into ways we can make use of the wood in a controlled manner that won’t spread the disease further and hope to have an announcement on that soon," says Councillor Kevin Ramsay, Chair of Advanced Planning, Priorities and Special Projects. "In the meantime, we hope the community will join us in honouring these majestic trees."
The City will be implementing a re-planting program in 2015, which will see two trees planted on public land for every publicly-owned tree removed due to DED. The trees planted through the program will create a lasting legacy so that future generations can continue to enjoy a beautiful tree canopy in Charlottetown.
City of Charlottetown