GFM Network News


Elm pruning ban over until March

It’s now time “to start taking the dead wood out of your elm trees,” says Janet Feddes-Calpas, executive director, Society to Prevent Dutch Elm Disease (STOPDED). The only time it is legal to prune elms in Alberta is between Oct. 1 and March 31. “This is when the elm bark beetles, responsible for spreading the […] Read more

Watch for yellow or brown leaves on elms

If elms on your property are in autumn mode already, they may be infected with Dutch elm disease (DED). “Symptoms of DED infection are leaves initially wilting followed by curling, turning yellow, and then brown,” said Janet Feddes-Calpas, executive director of the Society to Prevent Dutch Elm Disease. “This is also referred to as flagging. […] Read more


Adult beetles have a distinctive metallic green sheen.

Deadly pest marching towards Alberta’s borders

The emerald ash borer has travelled halfway across the continent and has now reached Manitoba

Another highly destructive invasive pest has breached the boundary of the eastern Prairies and Albertans are being asked to keep watch — and not unwittingly aid its spread. The emerald ash borer, which attacks and kills all species of ash, was found in Winnipeg this winter. The beetle is on a steady invasive march across […] Read more

White pine weevils target the leader, or top branch, of young spruce trees.

Keep watch for insects that attack trees

There are a number of pests that harm trees, including yellow-headed spruce sawfly, spider mites, and white pine weevils

There are several insects that affect trees that you should keep an eye out for this year. “The yellow-headed spruce sawfly has been a problem for spruce the last few years, as well as spider mites,” said provincial agro-forestry specialist Toso Bozic. “White pine weevils have also been a problem for young spruce trees, as […] Read more


Hydrangeas were once thought suitable only for more moderate climates, but there are now hardy varieties that can survive Prairie winters.

You’ve got more (landscaping) choices than you think

Many imported trees and shrubs can do well here and mixing them with native species adds diversity

Diverse species of trees and shrubs contribute to the health, function, and beauty of your property, says the province’s agroforestry and bioenergy specialist. “A variety of tree and shrub species can be found in Alberta’s urban and rural areas including ones that, in theory, should not be grown here at all due to our harsh […] Read more

Elm pruning ban now in place

The pruning ban for elms is now in effect. The ban is part of an effort to keep Dutch elm disease (DED) out of Alberta. Any pruned elm branches or firewood should have been burned, buried, or chipped by March 31. “If elm trees are pruned during the pruning ban period, beetles that are active […] Read more


Farmers, particularly in the northern half of Alberta are experiencing a significant dieback of white poplar.

Alberta’s most abundant tree species under threat

The reasons aren’t known for certain but the widespread loss of poplars has significant implications for farming

Have you noticed that the poplar trees in your yard and in your bush are dying? You’re not alone. Alberta is experiencing a significant dieback of one of its most abundant species, and while some landowners are skeptical of the cause, evidence points to climate change as one possible contributor. A massive poplar dieback is […] Read more

Black knot is a fungal disease spread by spores, but the spores are inactive in winter.

Cold weather is an ideal time for pruning diseased trees

Black knot and fire blight can be easily spread when it’s warm but not in winter

Very few people think of pruning in the dead of winter, but it’s probably the best time when it comes to trees infested with black knot and fire blight. “The beauty of winter pruning is that there are no leaves, and you will have a clear picture where to prune,” said Toso Bozic, a provincial […] Read more


‘Go local’ also applies to Christmas trees

Thinking of cutting your Christmas tree on Crown land this year? “To do this, you will need to obtain a permit from an Alberta government forestry office,” said provincial woodlot extension specialist Toso Bozic. “When cutting your own tree, you know that it’s fresh.” For information on obtaining a permit, go to the Alberta Agriculture […] Read more

Time to get the dead wood out

The annual elm-pruning ban is over until March 31, so it’s time to remove dead wood that can attract elm bark beetles, says the Society to Prevent Dutch Elm Disease (STOPDED). The beetles breed and overwinter in dead and dying elms but trees can’t be pruned between April 1 and Sept. 30 because the pests […] Read more