Oakville Council approves 2010 Emerald Ash Borer Work Plan

On Monday night, Council approved the 2010 Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Work Plan that will see the town implement more aggressive preventative measures to manage the spread of this invasive species first detected in Oakville in July 2008. TreeAzin treatments on 1,600 ash trees located on municipal streets and parkland will begin this week.

“Our priorities in moving forward with this work plan are to suppress EAB population levels and to protect high value ash canopy,” Mayor Burton said. “Staff continue to develop long range management plans with options and costs, and are incorporating new treatment alternatives as they become available.”

The 2010 Work Plan contains several priorities including removing ash trees in the imminent risk category; treating ash trees in the low to moderate risk category; measuring the number and location of private ash trees throughout Oakville; and refining a GIS-based decision support system to help direct EAB management efforts in 2011.

To date, the Town of Oakville has ceased new planting of ash trees; enhanced communication to the public; applied TreeAzin treatments to street and park ash trees; launched an EAB trapping project; implemented canopy conservation by under planting new species of trees in areas dominated by ash trees; and undertaken a tree inventory project.

Tree inventory efforts will be supplemented by a Hyperspectral Imagery (HSI) project. HSI is an accurate way to assess ash tree distribution. The application of HSI to urban forestry applications, specifically ash tree identification, is new technology that will allow town staff to detect the presence of ash trees on private property.

“Given new technological advances in the detection and management of EAB that Oakville helped develop, we have the potential to lead the municipal effort to combat EAB,” Mayor Burton said. “Council has directed staff to meet with neighbouring municipalities to share information, plans of action, and review possible efficiencies that may be achieved.”

Oakville is the first municipality in Canada to complete an early warning detection project, allowing staff to detect the increase in insect populations several years earlier than the current Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) method.

The Town of Oakville is also developing an EAB Management protocol to detect EAB in urban areas. Completion of the EAB Strategic Management Plan in conjunction with BioForest Technologies Inc. is in the final stages. The Canadian Forest Service is also planning EAB development research projects in Oakville this year. 

As part of the 2010 EAB Work Plan, staff will increase lobbying efforts to other levels of government requesting financial support for the management of EAB; the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) encouraging full registration of TreeAzin and further investigation of alternative EAB pest management products; and the Canadian Forest Service, Ministry of Natural Resources, and CFIA encouraging investigation and funding of alternative treatment/tools and options for EAB management.

The long-term and yearly EAB financial impacts will be identified as part of a further report to Council to be considered for inclusion in the 2011-2020 capital forecast.

Residents can also help by being vigilant in watching for EAB and contacting the CFIA if any are spotted. The beetle can be identified by its shiny emerald appearance. A full description is available on the forestry web page. For additional information visit the CFIA website or call 1-866-463-6017.

To view the EAB report visit the agendas and minutes page and click the July 6 CSC agenda.

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Media Contact:

Janine Ivings
Senior Communications Advisor
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3005
jivings@oakville.ca


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Oakville Council approves 2010 Emerald Ash Borer Work Plan