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Woodlot Owner Advisory Services Available to Residents of York Region Battling Invasive Emerald Ash Borer

Posted: May 15, 2018

NEWMARKET, ON (May 15, 2018) – When it comes to the highly destructive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), identification is only half of the battle. This bright, metallic-green beetle, measuring approximately one to 1.5 centimeters in length, attacks North America’s native ash trees. Originally from Asia, EAB is an invasive species that overtakes an ash tree so completely that little can be done to save it.

The Emerald Ash Borer is a metallic wood-boring beetle that is between 1 and 1.5 cm in length.

Tens of millions of North America’s ash trees have perished since 2002 and EAB is steadily moving into York Region and our woodlots. If your woodlot includes ash trees, it’s time to take notice. EAB has shown an especially strong presence in East Gwillimbury and Georgina.

In response, The Regional Municipality of York and Forests Ontario have established an EAB Advisory Services Program. The program allows woodlot owners in York Region to speak with a Registered Professional Forester for advice on managing your woodlot for the EAB.

Email your questions to eabservice@forestsontario.ca or call us at 1-877-646-1193 ext.300.

“Woodlot and woodland owners are going to start to see drastic decline in their ash trees in the coming years. The EAB Advisory Services Program offers landowners within York Region a variety of resources and connections to professionals available to assist with managing the impacts of EAB, serve to promote good forestry practices, and maintain healthy diverse forests in York Region,” explains Dayna Laxton, Invasive Species Specialist with York Region.

Call Before You Cut!

If you’ve identified the presence of EAB on your woodlot, don’t rush to remove trees. York Region and some of the nine local cities and towns have put in place bylaws to help protect trees and forested areas on private property.  York Region’s Forest Conservation Bylaw protects forests by requiring landowners to obtain a permit to remove trees on private property, and by requiring the use of good forestry practices.  Under the Forest Conservation Bylaw, landowners need to obtain a permit to remove trees from treed areas greater than 0.2 ha in some municipalities (and greater than 1.0 ha in the Town of Newmarket and the Town of Aurora).

In addition, some local municipalities have bylaws regulating tree cutting in smaller treed areas or for single trees.  Please consult Forests Ontario’s website to find the appropriate contact in your municipality.

Spotting EAB

Emerald Ash Borer larvae create S-shaped tunnels beneath the bark of Ash trees, cutting off the flow of nutrients and water from root to canopy.

Signs and symptoms of an Emerald Ash Borer infestation include small D-shaped holes, spanning 4 to 5 mm across the bark of trees.

If you have a woodlot in York Region and it contains ash trees, chances are you already have EAB present on your property. Signs and symptoms of an EAB infestation include:

  • Treetop dieback or decline of the canopy
  • Woodpecker feeding holes (woodpeckers feed on the larva under the bark) and peeling bark
  • Small D-shaped holes, spanning 4 to 5 mm across the bark of infected trees
  • New branches growing out from the trunk, roots and branches of the trees

Beyond these signs, EAB can be present on your woodlot for years before ash trees begin to decline. Astrid Nielsen, RPF, General Manager at Eastern Ontario Model Forest urges woodlot owners to contact a forestry professional. Nielsen says, “A forestry professional can assist you with confirming the presence of the Emerald Ash Borer in your woodlot, predict the long-term impacts, recommend mitigation techniques, and provide you with information on any programs that may be available to you.”

Ensure the health of your woodlot and York Region’s tree canopy. Contact the EAB Advisory Services representative with your questions and concerns.

York Region
The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns, and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents and 51,000 businesses with 620,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at www.york.ca/regionalservices

Eastern Ontario Model Forest

The Eastern Ontario Model Forest (EOMF) is a not-for-profit, charitable organization. Incorporated in 1992, the EOMF provides as a platform for collaborative community efforts to promote and ensure sustainable forests and healthy, vibrant forest communities across Ontario. Naturalized Knowledge Systems principles, as embodied in the Haudenosaunee culture, serve as the foundation for the EOMF’s vision and governance structure. The principles of respect, equity and empowerment are embraced as fundamental in nurturing effective and enduring partnerships.