But in Oakville, hope springs eternal.
One in 10 of the town’s trees are ash — roughly 180,000. This year the town council approved a multi-layered plan to use pesticides to treat about 7,000 trees on public property.
But the town isn’t stopping there. Part of its forestry services action plan is a “Canopy Club” that encourages residents to work at saving ash trees on private property, using Facebook, Twitter and community events. There’s even an emerald ash borer mascot.
The town has created two detailed videos explaining how the beautiful green beetles systematically destroy a tree. John McNeil, manager of forestry services, graphically describes the borer larvae eating through the tree’s nutrient delivery system as the equivalent of cutting through human veins and arteries.
The videos also explain the treatment process — injecting the tree biannually with TreeAzin, a pesticide developed by BioForest Technologies and the Canadian Forest Service. The treatment doesn’t cure an infected tree, but if repeated every two years, it can stave off death.
A series of interactive maps on the town’s website make it easy to find the 80 per cent of salvageable trees growing on private property.