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Emerald Ash Borer

July 2014 Update

Over 800 ash trees in Pickering have been removed and replaced with various, suitable species and over 900 are being treated.

Our contractor Davey Tree Expert will be treating ash trees on Major Oaks Drive, Gardenview Square, Darwin Drive, Moorelands Crescent and Cowan Circle. These streets were previously treated in 2012.

For more information, please contact our Customer Care Centre.

Over the winter months, ash trees were removed from Portland Court, Ridgewood Court and Chartwell Court, and these were recently replaced.

In July and August 2013, the City's contractor Treescape Canada injected infected Emerald Ash trees with a bio-insecticide called Treeazin. Only Ash trees on City boulevards that were healthy enough at the time were treated:

  • Aspen Road, Eastbank Road, Howell Crescent, Millbank Road, Napanee Road, New Street, Parkside Drive, Riverview Crescent, Rouge Valley Drive, Shadybrook Drive, Woodruff Crescent.

The following streets were affected by Emerald Ash Borer.  In 2013, crews removed affected Ash trees from these streets and replaced them with various species: 

  • Copley Street, Craighurst Court, Erin Gate Boulevard, Echo Point Court, Harvest Drive, Lawson Street, Maple Gate Road, Rockwood Drive, Sandcherry Court, Secord Street, Swan Place, Valley Ridge Crescent, Windgrove Square.

Background

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive insect that attacks and kills only ash trees and had previously been detected in one area of Pickering, has now been found throughout the City.

While the City is taking steps to deal with the situation on municipal property, it warns that large ash trees on private property are also at risk. To mitigate the infestation, all Pickering homeowners who have ash trees are advised to look for signs of infestation such as "D" shaped exit holes on the tree trunk; signs of woodpecker damage; and/or thinning near the top or 'crown' of the tree.

If EAB is detected early enough, or if the ash tree appears healthy, the tree may be treated with TreeAzin (a naturally occurring bio insecticide), which has shown to be effective in controlling EAB and keeping ash trees alive and healthy. If a tree is heavily infested (more than a third of the crown has died off), the City recommends removal for safety reasons and to prevent the continued EAB spread.

Residents with a heavily infected ash tree should contact a certified arborist for proper removal. Trees that are taken down can be burned in home woodstoves and fireplaces, but cannot be taken as firewood to a cottage or campground outside of a federally regulated area. This wood should be used in a timely matter or chipped to prevent increased infestation.  Those found illegally transporting firewood or ash wood materials may be subject to a federal fine or prosecution.

How severe will the infestation be?
Thus far, infestations elsewhere in North America have increased and spread despite significant control measures attempted. Once established, EAB has proven impossible to control. Movement of infested wood, wood products or nursery stock has likely resulted in the spread of this insect to Pickering. Once established, adult EAB can disperse to distances of several kilometres by flight. Emerald ash borer is well established in Pickering; spread of the infestation and ash mortality is expected to expand City wide.

How many trees could be affected by EAB?
All ash trees in Pickering are at risk from this infestation. It is estimated that Pickering has a street ash tree population of approximately 3,500 trees. The initial areas of infestation that were detected in 2008 are likely to lose most ash trees by 2015. EAB will spread to the rest of Pickering, affecting most ash trees in the near future.

What is the City doing?
The City is planning to remove dead and dying City owned ash trees and will replace them with an appropriate species.  Homeowners will be notified of tree removal and replacement planting schedules. Also, a select number of trees that are candidates for the bio insecticide treatment (TreeAzin) will be injected as required.

Contact our Customer Care Centre for more information.

Invasive Emerald Ash Borer Information, Maps and Images

Acknowledgement Form: 
Agreement to Perform TreeAzin Injections on City-Owned Trees