Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Letter of the Day

Disease laying waste to elms

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Well done, Ruth Bonneville, for the picture on the front page (A walk to remember, March 15). Prairie sunsets provide some of the most beautiful backdrops imaginable for a photographer to capture. Also Winnipeg's unrivalled great elm trees are often essential to be used as a natural frame.

However, I would suggest to Antoine Drummond and all other parents with small children that they make those walks under those majestic elms more frequently and to our talented photographers that they take as many photos as possible of those elms so that when children such as Rielly grow to be adults they can show their children what beauty once existed in this prairie city.

Dutch elm disease has devastated the urban forests across Europe and much of North America and if our city council does not act now the same thing will happen here. At the moment Winnipeg has one of the largest urban forests in the world but our trees are being infected and spreading the disease faster than our hard-working and devoted foresters can keep up.

They need an immediate infusion of assistance and money to even catch up to the backlog of dying and infected trees that need to be cleared. We sometimes take these trees for granted but imagine what this city would be like if -- no probably when -- they are gone. We will be losing one of the wonders and most attractive features of our city.

Thank you to organizations such as Trees Action Group and Trees Winnipeg, which are trying to preserve what is left and saving us all a heap of money in the future. Please give them a hand by letting your councillor know that you support their effort and it is not a waste of time.

Harry Paine



If we don't take steps immediately, our city will no longer be filled with big beautiful elms in the future. It will be a cold empty space.

I chose to live where I do for many reasons, a big one being the trees. Their beauty, charm and calming nature give me peace as I walk in the neighbourhood. I do not want to raise my children in an area devoid of trees and the nature that goes with them. Shade for picnics, birds and squirrels to enjoy. Jumping in piles of golden leaves.

I don't want to go to Assiniboine or Kildonan parks and see no trees. Finding no shade for relief on a blistering hot day. They are what a park should have first and foremost. We are all healthier people with large trees around us. They clean our air and give us the bit of nature we need in this concrete city.

Please support Trees Action Group's plan for the quick removal of infected trees and the 1:1 ratio for planting new trees.

Allyson Hornung



When we moved to Winnipeg 40 years ago, we bought where there were trees. We still live there. We are losing our trees. I have contacted the city forester about the ash (not elm) trees in front of my house, which are dying, and been told there is no money to prune them. The neighbours signed a petition to have dangerous, dead limbs pruned before they fell on the heads of kids attending the school across the street and we received no reply.

Trees have been cut down and we are told that there is no money to replace them and that we are not allowed to replace them at our own expense. This is nuts.

Suzanne Hudson


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 19, 2012 A11

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