A Crescentwood resident spent four days surveying the neighbourhood Elm trees for disease.
Dominique Levin was inspired by other Winnipeggers mapping the trajectory of Dutch elm disease in their neighbourhoods, including Earl Grey and Garden City.
"I thought it would be interesting because I’ve lived in the area my whole life and in front of my parents’ house there were multiple trees taken down in the past two years," Levin said.
New trees were planted to replace the old ones, but Levin noticed it seemed to be a common occurrence in the area.
"I stopped seeing trees that needed to be cut down and had marks on them, so I was curious how many were left to be cut down in Crescentwood," Levin said.
In the other surveys done by residents, Levin said, trees that were labelled to be cut were marked, as well as stumps.
The only tree Levin came across in Crescentwood that was labelled was on private property in someone’s backyard, so he chose not to take note of it.
"On blocks that I’m quite familiar with, many of them were elms that were labelled two or so years ago and were cut down last year and were replaced with new trees this summer," Levin said.
Levin’s process for the project was simple: he used screenshots from Google Maps and walked around the neighbourhood with a notebook and pen in hand. He created a map of the area to mark new trees with a green dot and stumps with a black dot.
Levin primarily focused on sidewalks and boulevards, leaving out back lanes.
"I really just walked for an hour and a half or two hours on a couple different days, back and forth, looking at trees and trying to see what were stumps or recently planted trees," he said.
In total, Levin went out four days to complete the project. When he originally sought out to do it, he assumed Crescentwood covered more area, but he left out areas like Corydon Avenue and Academy Road due to a lot of private property.
He also chose to not survey various parks throughout the area since he was unsure whether the City of Winnipeg was removing and planting new trees for other reasons.
Levin concluded that Crescentwood was likely one of the first neighbourhoods in Winnipeg to have infected elm trees removed.
"There are streets and certain blocks where there are 10 new trees," Levin said. "I think just the biggest thing for me was, compared to other areas you go in now where there’s orange all over trees, it seems like the city has already done quite a bit here."
Levin noted a lot of the new elm trees in Crescentwood were planted this summer when Manitoba didn’t see a lot of rain. Because of this, it has been harder for them to build up protection.
"Elm trees make a big difference," Levin said. "On a small scale, if you cut down a tree over 15 feet, you’re going to use a whole area of shade. As well, these trees help with cooling, oxygen and dealing with water.
"I think it’s important because it’s such a large number of trees that are clearly being impacted by it. There’s unfortunately no real way to deal with it besides trying to trim trees and get ahead of it."
Levin believes the trimming of Elm trees to prevent disease never gets done on the scale it should.
"If you go to a lot of other cities in Canada, you can see that Winnipeg has more trees," Levin said. "There’s no real way to do it besides trimming trees and trying to get ahead of the disease."
Kelsey James is the reporter/photographer for The Sou’wester. She graduated from Red River College’s creative communications program in 2018 as a journalism major and holds a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric, writing and communications from the University of Winnipeg. A lifelong Winnipegger who grew up in southwest Winnipeg, Kelsey is thrilled to be covering the neighbourhoods she still calls “home.”