Town treats over 3,000 ash trees for Emerald Ash Borer in 2012

Total of 5,700 town trees treated over past two years

The Town of Oakville treated over 3,000 municipal ash trees this past summer with the biological insecticide TreeAzin™ to protect them against the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). The town has now treated all of the 5,700 trees targeted under the town’s ambitious program to save ash trees located on town streets and in town parks. TreeAzin™ is a natural and safe bio-insecticide that provides two years of protection against EAB before it must be reapplied

“Oakville has the most aggressive EAB work plan in the country,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “We’re able to treat about 75 per cent of the ash canopy located on streets and in parks because we implemented an early detection program that enabled us to act quickly to fight against the infestation. Council will continue to work towards increasing our canopy cover over the coming years, and strengthening our urban forest’s capacity to deal with invasive species like EAB.”

This year is the tipping point for the EAB population in the Greater Toronto Area, with many untreated trees beginning to decline and die. According to Oakville’s EAB work plan, 25 per cent of Oakville’s public ash trees on streets and parkland must be removed because they are so heavily infested that they cannot be saved. Residents will see town crews continuing the culling and replacing of these trees on streets and parks. The town will begin a pilot project this fall to manage EAB in woodland parks.

“The town plans to replace dead or dying trees with a new species of tree to meet Oakville’s canopy cover objective of 40 per cent by 2057,” said Chris Mark, director, Parks and Open Space.

With most of the town’s estimated 180,000 ash trees located on private property, the town launched the Oakville Canopy Club, a community outreach program that encourages residents to save Oakville’s tree canopy. The club includes a Facebook page, Twitter account, dedicated email address and web pages.

“The town is committed to doing its part to protect municipal trees, but with the majority of treatable ash trees on private property, community support is crucial,” said John McNeil, manager, Forestry Services. “It takes awareness and action from our community to protect these trees.”

To help spread the word, the Oakville Canopy Club was at community events this summer, including Midnight Madness and Ribfest, teaching residents about EAB and encouraging them to hire certified service providers to treat their ash trees. Recently the Oakville Chamber of Commerce joined the Canopy Club and chamber member First Canadian Title treated ash trees on its property at Sheridan Garden Drive. The town also sent a letter in late June to all private residences in Oakville outlining options for managing EAB on private property.

“Feedback from residents on Canopy Club initiatives has been positive, and residents’ enthusiasm for taking steps to protect their trees was made clear through the large number of calls we received about EAB over the summer,” added McNeil.

As part of the Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency’s registration approval of the natural bio-insecticide TreeAzin™ late August is the deadline to treat ash trees in 2012 from the threat of EAB. Residents who saw their public ash tree treated this summer will see town crews return in 2014. Next summer, the town will target the ash trees that were treated in 2011.

More information about managing EAB can be found by visiting the EAB page. Residents can also follow the Oakville Canopy Club on Facebook and Twitter.

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For more information contact:

John McNeil
Manager, Forestry Services
Parks and Open Space Department
905-845-6601 ext.3395
jmcneil@oakville.ca

Gisèle Shaw
Manager, Corporate Communications
Strategy, Policy and Communications
905-845-6601, ext. 3166
gshaw@oakville.ca


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Town treats over 3,000 ash trees for Emerald Ash Borer in 2012