Although I live on an older residential street in Winnipeg, at the same time, I also live in a forest. Winnipeg’s urban forest consists of a wide variety of trees including elm, ash, maple, oak, poplar, basswood, willow, birch, spruce, pine, cedar, some fruit trees and shrubs. The number of trees in Winnipeg is estimated at 8 million, which includes about 160,000 elms.
Every year for the last 10 years, Winnipeg has lost 5,000 elm trees to Dutch elm disease. The City spends $3 million a year to control the disease with varying degrees of success. One method of limiting the spread of DED is removal of infected trees. This week, a City Forestry crew took down a sick tree on my block. The tree was at least 90 years old and one of the larger, better-trimmed trees. My time-lapse video condenses the two hours the crew took to cut down and dispose of the tree into two minutes. They first cut away the crown of the tree, then tied a rope to the bare trunk and pulled it over with a hough. Every year City Forestry plants between 700 and 2400 trees.