We are pleased to share with you the following information from the office of Ward 6, Etobicoke-Lakeshore Councillor Mark Grimes:
Thank you for your questions about the Emerald Ash Borer in Ward 6 and Long Branch in particular.
The following Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) materials were provided to Councillors on June 20, 2011 by Parks, Forestry and Recreation in the City of Toronto:
The updated February 2012 map shows there is confirmed loss of trees due to Emerald Ash Borer in Long Branch.
The full city plan for dealing with EAB is available an the City of Toronto website.
All ash trees in Toronto are at risk of dying from this infestation.
Mortality may occur in as short a period as one year; however, death normally occurs within two to three years of a tree becoming infested.
The recent tree canopy study estimates that there are 860,000 ash trees in total on public and private lands.
The initial areas of infestation detected in 2007 are likely to lose most of their ash trees by 2012.
EAB will eventually spread to the rest of Toronto, killing most ash trees in the City by about 2015 – 2017
Unlike previous invasive species like the Asian Long-Horned Beetle, Urban Forestry will not be able to eradicate the beetle. Implementation is intended to achieve the following key objectives:
(1) Integrate ash tree removals into existing operational programs to build efficiencies.
(2) Communicate information to the public in order to raise awareness of the EAB, prepare them for the removal of privately-owned trees, and encourage replanting of trees on private lands to replace lost tree canopy.
(3) Develop proactive tree planting programs that will aim to replace tree canopy, particularly where ash trees form a large part of the existing tree population.
Currently the Urban Forestry Branch of Parks, Forestry and Recreation is working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the Canadian Forest Service (CFS), the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) and other municipalities to co-ordinate the response to the infestation of EAB in Toronto
In 2003, before EAB was detected in Toronto, Urban Forestry instituted a moratorium on the planting of ash trees on City property.
The City has been proactively planning and planting trees in areas where ash trees form a large part of the existing tree population. This includes tree planting in parks, residential and arterial roads, and naturalized areas. These proactive tree planting programs aim to help mitigate the loss of canopy cover due to the EAB infestation.
TreeAzin has been shown to have pesticidal properties against EAB
A naturally-occurring compound from the neem tree, marketed as TreeAzin, has been shown to have pesticidal properties against EAB in ash trees.
TreeAzin is currently the only product registered for use in Canada against EAB that has been shown to be effective in the control of EAB while keeping ash trees alive.
While pesticide injection can be used to protect trees for a certain period of time, in order to provide an extended control the injection needs to be repeated every two years.
Repeated injections may affect the long term health of the tree given the impact of drilling holes into the main stem. However, a study of wound response conducted on City-owned trees, showed that over 90 percent of injection site wounds were completely healed after two growing seasons.
Homeowners who wish to use a TreeAzin pesticide injection to protect their own private trees are referred to BioForest Technologies Inc. for more information and a list of licensed applicators.