Simcoe County Forestry reminds residents about steps they can take to manage the impact from the invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).
The EAB is a wood boring beetle that is 8-14mm long. It is bright metallic green with a coppery-reddish or purple colour to the abdomen. The insect attacks and kills Ash trees. Emerald Ash Borer attacks all true Ash trees including White, Black and Green Ash (Mountain-Ash is not true ash and NOT a host for EAB) and kills more than 99 per cent of infected trees. EAB was first discovered in Simcoe County in 2013, and has been found in 11 of the 16 municipalities within the County of Simcoe, along with the City of Barrie.
“Invasive insects like the EAB remain costly issues for property owners, including municipalities, and continue to have a negative impact on our environment and forests,” said Graeme Davis, Forester, County of Simcoe. “It is important that all landowners become aware of this issue and what options are available to them so that they can make informed decisions before it is too late.”
Simcoe County Forestry is setting traps in strategic locations throughout the County this summer to continue monitoring the spread of EAB. Monitoring reports will be provided to County Council and member municipalities later this summer.
“Our County Forests and history of stewardship remain a great source of pride for all our residents,” said Warden Gerry Marshall. “With more than 33,000 acres of County Forests, it is vital that we continue our work with residents and area partners to share information”
The larvae of the Emerald Ash Borer feed on the living tissue below the bark of an ash tree called the cambium. These feeding cavities stop the flow of nutrients and water within the tree causing the crown to die back, peeling bark and death in sometimes as little as two years.
It is the responsibility of the landowner to manage or remove trees on their own property. Most landowners will have two choices when considering the future of an Ash tree. The tree can usually be given protection against the insect by treating with a pesticide. Otherwise, trees which are not protected will eventually die and need to be removed.
There are several pesticides available to treat Ash trees and increase survival. Trees should be treated before infection and during the growing season (late spring to late summer). The treatment of Ash trees can be a financially sound option for many landowners who wish to maintain landscape trees, especially when considering the many benefits and values of these trees including aesthetics, home heating and cooling, land value appreciation and privacy.
For more information about treatment options and full details about the EAB education campaign, please visit www.simcoe.ca/eab.