Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive species of beetle which feeds exclusively on ash trees. The larvae burrow under the bark of ash trees and feed there, causing extensive damage which leads to the death of the tree within a few years.
Native to eastern Asia, EAB was first discovered in North America in 2002. In 2008, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed the presence of EAB in Brampton and neighbouring municipalities.
EAB poses no risk to humans or animals and does not harm other species of trees. It is, however, very deadly to all varieties of ash trees (except Mountain Ash, which is not a true ash).
The City's Urban forestry division is closely monitoring the spread of EAB in Brampton, and making plans for the removal and replacement of affected trees. Currently, the worst damage is on the east side of the city (primarily Wards 7 and 8), but surveys are showing high population densities throughout Brampton. Residents in areas affected by EAB will be contacted with details specific to their area before any trees are removed.
Identify Ash Trees & EAB
|Ash tree leaves are compound with 5-11 leaflets arranged directly opposite one another. Tree branches also form directly opposite one another, rather than in a staggered pattern.
The bark of a mature ash tree tends to form a distinct pattern of diamond-shaped ridges. Young trees have relatively smooth bark.
|An adult beetle is about 1 cm long. They may be seen feeding on the leaves of ash trees.
||An infested tree may have markedly reduced density of leaves, long shoots growing from the trunk or branches, vertical cracks in the trunk and small D-shaped holes in the trunk where the adult beetle emerges. You may notice evidence of adult beetles feeding on the leaves, or S-shaped tunnels under the bark, filled with fine sawdust.|
Urban Forestry staff have identified three strategies for dealing with the widespread death of ash trees across the city.
- Large, high value ash trees (over 40 cm in diameter)
There is a chemical injection known as TreeAzinTM that can be useful to protect large trees. Injections are very expensive and must be repeated every two years. They are not practical for trees that have already been infested, or on smaller trees.
- Mid-size trees (21-40 cm in diameter)
A smaller number of exceptionally healthy trees may be considered as candidates for injections, otherwise trees will be removed and replaced with non-ash varieties as their health declines.
Small trees (less than 20 cm in diameter)
Injections will be completed in the summer months.
TreeAzinTM, a Canadian-made product, is a biological insecticide made from a natural product from the extract of neem trees. It is developed by the Canadian Forest Service and BioForest Technologies.
Trees will receive consideration for injection after an individual review by one of the City’s Certified Arborists. Trees must be of good structure and health and exist in a location where the optimum value to the community is achieved by their presence.
Injections are being completed in several areas this summer and will continue into 2013. Given that the chemical is injected into the tree, no applications will occur beyond the end of August as the tree begins to prepare for winter dormancy and the uptake of nutrients slows.
Privately Owned Ash Trees
Ash trees on private property are not the responsibility of the City of Brampton. Property owners are required to arrange for the safe removal of dead/dying and EAB infested ash trees on their land.
Prior to removal, residents must notify the City of Brampton of their intent and that the removal has been confirmed to be an ash tree by a City staff or a certified arborist.
The City’s Tree Preservation By-law states that a permit is required when removing a large, privately-owned tree (over 30 cm in diameter). Permits are not required for failing ash trees due to the prevalence of EAB in Brampton. However, property owners should have a professional arborist confirm that their tree is an infested ash tree, and contact the City’s Urban Forestry section to notify us before the tree is removed..
The Urban Forestry division is available to assist residents by providing information on EAB and tips for hiring a qualified arborist. For more information, contact Brampton’s Urban Forestry division at email@example.com or 905.874.2906.
For a directory of Emerald Ash Borer Treatment Service Providers, visit www.BioForest.ca.