What is Emerald Ash Borer?
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive pest that attacks and kills ash trees in North America. It was first identified in Pickering in 2008 and has since spread city-wide; infestation and ash mortality is expected to expand to the city's approximately 3,500 ash trees.
Ash Tree Management Program
The City's ash tree management program focuses on municipal boulevards and parks and consists of two parts 1) Treating ash trees where EAB has been detected early enough, and 2) Removing and replacing ash trees with other suitable species.
Large ash trees on private property are also at risk - see more.
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.
To date over 1,000 trees have been treated. See list of streets where ash trees have, and will continue to be treated. Note that some streets will include both treated trees and tree removals.
The City prioritizes the removal of ash trees and will continue to replace them with various suitable species throughout 2015. To date, over 1,000 trees have been removed and replaced. See list of streets where ash trees have been removed and replaced and those that have been removed, or are scheduled for removal in 2015.
Depending on resources, the tree is either removed all at once, or taken down in three phases:
- removal of branches
- removal of trunk down to ground level
- removal of stump
Please note replacement trees may not be planted during the same time as removal. The City cannot guarantee timelines for replacement.
Working Together to Maintain Pickering's Newly Planted Trees
We're calling on homeowners to help ensure the long lasting health of our trees! During planting, we water them enough to provide a healthy start, but ask that residents continue to water the trees on their boulevard, especially during hot, dry weather, to help them thrive in our urban environment. Visit the City of Toronto website for maintenance tips.
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.
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.
The City recycles the ash wood in various ways at the Pickering Museum Village:
- for firewood for cooking demonstrations on the open hearth and in the woodstoves
- to build cutting boards that are sold in the gift shop
- to repair or replace items in the heritage buildings, wagon wheels, the bridge at the Miller - Cole House, and more
The City also sends ash logs and chips to Toronto and Region Conservation Authority for use in their habitat restoration projects. They use it to protect plants from deer herbivory, to armour and protect eroded stream banks and shorelines, provide essential habitat for small mammals and bird species, and provide raptor poles and perching platforms.
Contact our Customer Care Centre for more information.
Agreement to Perform TreeAzin Injections on City-Owned Trees
See the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for more information and a regulated area map for movement of infested wood.