Council approves 2013 Emerald Ash Borer Management Program

Ash tree treatment and removal programs begin this month to protect against EAB

On Monday, June 17, 2013, Council approved the town’s 2013 Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Management Program highlighting the town’s ongoing efforts to control EAB infestations and educate the public about treatment options. Treatment and removal of municipal ash trees included in this year’s program will begin this month.

Healthy public ash trees on streets and in parks across Oakville will be injected with TreeAzin® to protect them against EAB. Approximately 2,500 ash trees will receive the treatment from the town’s service provider before the end of August. This will be the third treatment for many of the trees since Oakville first launched its EAB management strategy in 2008.

“Oakville has the most aggressive EAB treatment program in the country,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “We are seeing great success with the use of the bio-insecticide TreeAzin. Of the over 5,000 municipal trees treated since the treatment program began in 2008, 98 per cent are still alive and in good condition. These are impressive results.”

In total, the town is treating approximately 5,700 municipal ash trees over the next 10 years. Currently, 40 per cent receive treatment in odd years, while the remaining 60 per cent receive treatment in even years. TreeAzin® is a natural and safe bio-insecticide derived from the seeds of the neem tree, and provides up to two years of protection against EAB before it must be reapplied.

The balance of the municipal ash tree canopy on public roads and parks do not qualify for treatment due to heavy infestation or size, and are becoming structurally unsound. The town will begin removing high risk trees from streets and parks this month before they become public safety hazards and to curb the spread of EAB. Removing just one 20-centimetre DBH (diameter at breast height) nine-metre tall tree eradicates over 570 EAB from the population, helping to safeguard those trees being treated.

Residents are invited to learn more about the town’s EAB management plan as well as private tree treatment and removal options at a public open house at Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre on Thursday, June 20, 2013, from 7 to 9 p.m.

“The devastation by EAB is unprecedented. It is on Time magazine’s top ten list of evil animals,” John McNeil, manager of Forestry Services, said. “With 80 per cent of Oakville’s ash trees located on private property, it’s important for residents to make a decision now about the fate of their ash trees. We’re encouraging residents to treat their trees or have them removed and replaced.”

EAB is infesting ash trees across Canada and the United States and is responsible for killing tens of millions of ash since its discovery in 2002. This year is believed to be the tipping point for the EAB population in the GTA. Urban forestry professionals warn that 2013 may be the last year an effective treatment program can begin. The town recommends that residents have a certified arborist assess their ash tree(s) to determine the best option.

In recognition of his continuous promotion of urban forestry, John McNeil was presented with the John H. Sellers Award by the Ontario Registered Professional Foresters Association (OPFA), at Council, for his work in managing Oakville’s EAB epidemic. Council also congratulated Janine Ivings, Jeff Smalley and Brett McNally from Strategy, Policy and Communications for winning the prestigious Canadian Public Relations Society Bronze Award of Excellence for the Oakville Canopy Club in the category of Canadian Advocacy and Social Marketing Campaign of the Year.

For more information, visit the Emerald Ash Borer page.

For more information:

John McNeil, RPF
Manager, Forestry Services
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3395 

Jill MacInnes
Communications Advisor, Forestry Services
Strategy, Policy and Communications
905-845-6601, ext. 3096

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Council approves 2013 Emerald Ash Borer Management Program