Dutch elm disease claims more trees

Staff ~ The Amherst News
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AMHERST - A New Glasgow company has been given the contract to remove 56 trees infected with Dutch elm disease.

GPF's bid of $52,915 plus HST beat out three other bidders, including: Andrew MacDonald ($142,225), Asplundh ($121,390) and Atlantic Arbourists ($65,781).

Amhest's tree advisory committee said there are 97 elm trees to be removed, but the 56 included in the tender are in the worst condition. The other 41 trees will be taken down next year, or earlier if money can be found in the budget.

There is no treatment for Dutch elm disease with the only solution being to remove them before they become a danger to people or property.

Nova Scotia Power is cost-sharing the removal of 16 of the trees that are close to the power lines.

An inventory of the other elm trees in the town will be completed next summer.

Trees to be removed this time are spread throughout the community with most in the East Victoria, Rupert, Regent, Clarence and Havelock street areas.

The Dutch elm disease tree removal program has been in place for nine years and addresses issues related to the spread of the disease.

The tree committee's chair, Coun. Dale Fawthrop, expressed concern with the amount of work being done within the town compared to the surrounding county.

"There is no policy to remove Dutch elm diseased trees in the county," Fawthop said there's really nothing to stop the continued influx of the disease from outside the town boundaries. "The disease does not know there is a town boundary."

Fawthrop is unsure how many diseased trees there are in the county, but said nothing's been done to do an inventory of them or to remove any of those that may be diseased.

"This does not help us in our fight against Dutch elm. The disease is going to get to us anyway, but they aren't helping the situation," said Fawthrop, suggesting the county strike a committee to look at the situation.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Power

Geographic location: AMHERST, New Glasgow, East Victoria

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