Stately Elms


by Evelyn Ward de Roo

Gimli is loosing its old elm trees. According to the Interlake Spectator (June 18, 2010) South Beach is a total loss. Dutch Elm disease gained a foothold then decimated the entire population. Forester Richard Mamalygo, former Interlake region forestry manager, says that elm trees in South Beach have been totally wiped out. “It’s done. There’s nothing left. They were all stately, 70-year old elms. Now, zero. The Aspen Park, Gimli Industrial Park and South Beach elm problem was exacerbated because the province did not fund Dutch Elm intervention or removal in these areas. In those areas homeowners had to deal with it themselves or ignore it. The dying trees spread their infection. It took just three years to wipe out 300 trees in South Beach. Thankfully some pockets of elms remain in Gimli town proper and are being cared for with very expensive fungicide by local residents. There is an attempt being made to re-tree Gimli’s urban forest by the volunteers of the Gimli Garden Club. They recently planted new trees at Gimli Park after securing a grant from Manitoba Hydro. Unfortunately another scourge is on its way, that of the Emerald Ash Borer.” Contact Mamalygo, 641-4596, or any professional forester, if you have concerns about the trees on your property.  Mamalygo says, “It’s not about the money. It’s about what trees provide both in aesthetics, in cleaning the air, in creating oxygen.” Let’s all do what we can to keep South Beach a green playground for many more decades.