September 15, 2010
Cities across province fight emerald ash borer
Emerald Ash Borer.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of the emerald ash borer (EAB) in two new areas in Ontario.

In late July, Brampton was confirmed to have the pest, while in mid-August, EAB was found in the Waterloo area.

The infested trees in Brampton are located in the Wood and North Park Street area. There have been numerous finds of this pest in Ontario and one location in Quebec, but the CFIA says it will continue to work with partners and stakeholders toward the goal of slowing the insects’ spread.

The CFIA confirmed that emerald EAB was found in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, in the Highway 401 and Fountain Street area, and in the County of Oxford, along Highway 401 near Oxford County Road 3.

The key challenge in limiting the spread of this beetle is to get people to stop moving potentially infested ash materials such as logs, branches, nursery stock, wood chips and firewood of all species to non-infested locations.

Communities in battle against EAB

A number of communities are also waging war against the major pest.

In anticipation of EAB hitting the area, the Region of Waterloo conducted a street tree inventory in 2009, identifying 4,522 ash trees along residential streets. It was estimated that the cost to remove and replant ash trees along in the municipality will be $4.75-million over ten years. The $4.75-million does not include any costs for EAB in the municipality’s park system, including active parkland and natural areas.

Oakville’s Community Services Committee (CSC) heard news of the potential devastation that emerald ash borer will have on that community if more aggressive measures are not taken. Chris Mark, director of Oakville’s Parks and Open Space department, is quoted as saying, “Timing is critical as 2010 has been deemed the tipping point with EAB populations poised to enter a significant growth phase. With new technological advances, we (Oakville) helped develop, we have the potential to lead the municipal effort in detection and management of EAB.”

The CSC approved $447,000 to finance the EAB Work Plan that involves increased lobbying efforts of government financial support for the management of EAB, lobby the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) to encourage full registration of TreeAzin and increased lobbying efforts to the Canadian Forest Service, Ministry of Natural Resources, and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to encourage investigation and funding of alternative treatment/tools and options for EAB management.

Both Oakville and Burlington are applying TreeAzin to street and park ash trees, and launched an EAB trapping project. Oakville has also ceased planting ash trees.

According to news reports, Oakville claims it is the first municipality in Canada to complete an early warning detection project. The municipal staff report that the plan has great promise for EAB management, because it detects the increase in insect populations several years earlier than the current CFIA method.

Meanwhile, the City of London claims it has lost the battle to stop the emerald ash borer. City officials are reported to claim there are no funds to replace all the thousands of ash trees expected to die from the infestation. London’s urban forester Ivan Listar is quoted as saying that monitoring programs run by the CFIA have pulled out of London because the infestation has spread across the city.

London spent $640,000 to fight the infestation, which included removing and chipping the diseased trees, injecting the most valuable trees to stave off the infestation and planting 1,485 new trees in ash-dominant neighbourhoods. Reports say the money is gone and the city’s requests for more financial help from senior governments have been refused. London estimates it would cost $10-million to remove and replace about 10,000 ash trees in city parks and boulevards. A recent tree count study completed by the city showed ash made up about 10 per cent of city’s tree population of 4.4 million.

In Ottawa, where the pest was detected in 2008, city officials there say all of the 75,000 ash trees on city-owned property will probably be cut down within the next decade. Back in May, the city sponsored Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week. The city plans to plant 100,000 new trees.

Additional information is available on the CFIA web site at or by calling 1-866-463-6017.