THE EMERALD ASH BORER IS HERE!
The Emerald Ash Borer, or EAB, is a non-native wood-boring beetle that feeds under the bark of common ash trees. First noticed in Ottawa in 2008 (close to St. Laurent Shopping Centre), the EAB has spread steadily across the city and into our neighbourhood. It is estimated that 30% of the city’s green canopy will disappear as a result of the EAB!
The EAB generally has a one-year life cycle but can live up to two years. The larvae feed on the tender wood just beneath the bark and, in so doing, damage the tree’s transport system used to carry water and nutrients up to the branches. As a consequence the tree becomes stressed and eventually dies within one to three years. The top branches are normally affected first, with damage spreading until the entire tree is dead. Healthy trees are more resistant to the EAB therefore it is important to water your trees during drought periods and to feed them regularly.
What can you do if your tree is infected?
The only treatment approved in Ontario is TreeAzin, a biological insecticide made from a natural product which renders the females sterile and kills 95% of existing larvae. TreeAzin is delivered to a tree through a special tree injection system. These injections may only be administered by licensed professionals and injections every two years would be required until the outbreak has passed.
The City can treat affected trees that are on city lands, such as parks and easements along your street. Since their resources are limited, you stand a better chance if you notify the City as soon as possible upon discovery of a possible infestation by dialling 3-1-1. If the affected tree is on private property, your best bet is to seek treatment for the tree either through www.bioforest.ca or by obtaining quotes from certified arborists trained in the use of TreeAzin.
If you decide to remove an infected or dead tree, you must arrange this through a qualified tree removal service who will dispose of the wood properly. If the tree is on City land, the City (3-1-1) will remove it for you. Ottawa is under a strict quarantine, thus it is illegal to sell or transport wood of an ash tree out of the City.