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City approves insecticide to combat EAB

Republished from Canadian Food Inspectin Agency News Release June 8, 2010

Hundreds of local ash trees to receive injections this year

City approves insecticide to combat EAB. UNWELCOME GUEST: Burlington is planning to inject about 300 local ash trees this year with a pesticide intended to stop infestation by the Emerald Ash Borer, above. Canadian Food Inspection Agency photo

The city has developed a 2010 plan to combat the oncoming Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation.

Burlington has been monitoring its ash tree population for signs of the EAB.

While city staff recently received specialized training through the Canadian Forest Service to identify and monitor EAB, council this week approved the 2010 action plan to manage the EAB infestation.

The action plan includes strategies for further investigation of the city’s ash trees, public communications and the use of a promising EAB treatment called TreeAzin.

TreeAzin is an insecticide that has received emergency registration from Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency in 2009 for use against EAB in Ontario and Quebec. The insecticide is injected into the tree.

This year, 300 mature ash trees on city property will receive TreeAzin. One treatment is estimated to cost between $150-$250 per tree, meaning this year’s treatment will cost between $45,000-$75,000, which does not include the staff time needed to complete the injections.

A recently completed street tree inventory identified more than 7,200 ash trees on city streets. This year, the city will inventory the population of ash trees in city parks, estimated to exceed 6,000.

The application of TreeAzin must be done by the end of August to be effective. City staff says they plan to start administering TreeAzin by late May.

Healthy, mature ash trees on 24 streets are slated for treatment in the 2010 action plan.

Those streets include: Alconbury Crescent, Ashland Drive, Cape Avenue, Crofton Way, Dillon Road, Empress Crescent, Falmouth Terrace, Flemish Drive, Glen Moor Crescent, Green Meadow Drive, Hannibal Road, Heather Hills Drive, Janina Boulevard, Juniper Avenue, Kenwood Avenue, Kerry Drive, Laural Drive, Maclaren Drive, Northside Road, Rockwood Drive, Thornwood Avenue, Warwick Drive, Westbury Avenue and Wicklow Road.

Staff says that there is very low risk to humans or pets after the insecticide is administered and residents on affected streets will be notified of the treatment.

TreeAzin may be used preventatively or at the onset of an outbreak, providing protection for up to two years with a single application.

City staff says it is not known how long treatments will need to continue. They say it is possible that treatments will need to be administered throughout the life of each tree.

$11 million budgeted over next decade

Council has budgeted $11 million over the next 10 years to address this issue. EAB action plans will be reviewed annually. Treatment and/or tree removal are possible alternatives being considered for future action plans.

Early this year staff began an investigation of the city’s large ash tree population. Using up-to-date techniques, the city has identified the early presence of EAB in some city trees. EAB has been found in the last few weeks in the area generally bounded by Guelph Line, the QEW, Walker’s Line and Upper Middle Road.

The city anticipates that this is just the beginning of a city-wide EAB infestation that has been making its way through southern Ontario for the past number of years.

The EAB is a small metallic green beetle. It feeds on ash trees, with the most tree damage caused by the EAB larvae, which destroys the layer under the bark that is responsible for transporting nutrients and water throughout the tree.

With this transport system blocked, an otherwise healthy tree may die within five years, depending on its age and the extent of infestation.

Damage to the tree from the larvae will be apparent under the bark as the larvae create distinctive S-shaped grooves in the wood as they feed. City staff note that Mountain Ash trees are not affected.

As the infestation could spread across Burlington and the surrounding area over the coming years, all ash trees in the city may be at risk.

More information on EAB will be available soon on the city’s website at http://www.burlington.ca.

Republished from insideHalton.com Article April 16, 2010

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