Oakville educates students about its urban forest and Emerald Ash Borer during Arbor Week

The Town of Oakville launched Arbor Week with the Mayor’s Annual Tree Planting Ceremony at River Oaks Public School today. More than 45 eager grade 4 students were on hand to learn about the importance of trees and the environmental impact the urban forest has on Oakville residents.

“Arbor Week celebrates the critical role trees play in supporting the ecological and physical health of our community,” said Ward 5 Councillor Marc Grant, on behalf of Mayor Rob Burton. “By protecting and enhancing our urban forest, we’re making a commitment to achieving our 40 per cent tree canopy goal and to continually improve Oakville’s natural environment for future generations.”

Following the official tree planting, Forestry staff presented an interactive tutorial to educate students about the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive foreign insect that is destroying ash trees across North America including those in Oakville. To help raise awareness of this metallic green-coloured beetle, Forestry staff demonstrated an ash tree injection with the bio-insecticide TreeAzin.

“In addition to planting a tree, we’re aiming to save a tree,” explained Councillor Grant. “We’re injecting this ash tree with hopes of minimizing the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer. We have already treated 2,000 municipal ash trees and have found measurable success with this natural and safe product derived from seeds of the neem tree.”

Over the course of Arbor Week, Forestry staff will offer educational presentations to approximately 500 students at schools across Oakville, as well as assist various environmental studies classes on a project that maps the location of ash trees on school property. The third annual Tree Protection Workshop is also planned for 110 industry professionals from across the GTA to educate them on Oakville’s tree protection policies, procedures bylaws and application processes.

“It’s more important than ever to emphasize the impact trees have in keeping our community healthy and thriving,” said John McNeil, manager of Forestry Services. “Involving the next generation is a great way to inspire stewardship of our urban forest.”

This year’s Arbor Week, which runs from May 9–13, is sponsored by BioForest Technologies Inc., the consulting firm working closely with the town on EAB. BioForest Technologies works with clients to manage pests before, during, and after serious attacks, to minimize the effects of pest outbreaks.

Arbor Week encourages tree planting and stewardship. The town has participated Arbor Week for more than 25 years. For more information on urban forestry and EAB visit the Forestry web page.

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For more information contact

John McNeil
Manager, Forestry Services
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3395
jmcneil@oakville.ca  

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


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Oakville educates students about its urban forest and Emerald Ash Borer during Arbor Week