GUELPH, ON, May 17, 2012 – The City has confirmed the Emerald Ash Borer — an invasive and destructive insect — has been found in four trees along Gordon Street boulevards near Clair Road. The trees were less than 10 years old and have been removed.
The City has roughly 10,000 healthy ash trees in parks, and along streets and sidewalks. The City is placing 40 green prism traps in ash trees throughout Guelph and taking branch samples to determine where the insect may be nesting, and its potential impact on Guelph’s urban forest.
“We’re finding out where Emerald Ash Borer infestations may be happening, and we’ll use that information to inform the City’s Urban Forest Management Plan,” said Rodney Keller, General Manager of Guelph’s Public Works department. “Realistically, we expect to lose thousands of trees on public and private properties over the next 10 years, and we’re making plans to replenish those trees.”
The goal of the City’s 20-year Urban Forest Management Plan is to maximize the health and size of Guelph’s urban forest. The draft plan was presented to City Council earlier this year, and refers to the City’s need to address pests like Emerald Ash Borer. Community members will be invited to discuss and provide feedback on the plan before it is finalized and presented to City Council this fall.
“The City remains committed to having the highest tree canopy among comparable municipalities and the Urban Forest Management Plan is critical to reaching that goal.” adds Keller. “With no effective treatment to prevent or eliminate the Emerald Ash Borer we’re taking the actions we can today, and setting aside $3.9 million over the next 10 years to replace the trees that will likely succumb to EAB.”
About the Emerald Ash Borer
According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is native to Asia and was first discovered in Canada and the United States in 2002. The insect has already killed millions of ash trees in Southwestern Ontario, Michigan and surrounding states.
Signs of infestation
- Thinning crown
- Diminished density of leaves
- Evidence of adult beetle feeding on leaves
- Long shoots growing from trunk or branches
- Vertical cracks in trunk
- Small D-shaped exit holes
- S-shaped tunnels under the bark, filled with sawdust
Currently, there is no effective treatment to prevent or eliminate EAB, and it has no natural predators in the area. The adult insects can nest in the leaves of any species of ash. When the larvae hatch they bore under the bark and ultimately kill the tree.
[box type=”warning”]Prevent the spread — don’t move firewood