Posts Tagged ‘emerald ash borer’

Young Ash Tree

A  slight feeling of dread and sadness has been accompanying my walks down my street ever since  I learned about emerald ash borers (EABs).  These small green bugs are  originally from China, and are a blight facing all species of North American ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) They are infecting trees in my own city — Toronto –and in many places throughout Canada and the United States. How long will the beautiful, mature ash trees on my street live?

According to a City of Toronto staff member, because of the emerald ash borer, “Eighty to 95 per cent of the trees [in the city] are projected to die between 2015 and 2017, and from the point of infestation all of the trees will die somewhere between 10 and 12 years.”1

But recently I noticed some signs that gave me a sense of hope for the ash trees on my street, which, I would say, make up about 75% of the tree canopy on my street.  The City has identified 200 locations in Toronto where they will attempt to save ash  trees with a pesticide called TreeAzin.  The trees receiving these treatments are marked with metal tags.2 Most of the ash trees on my street bear metal tags, which I’m hoping signify treatment.

TreeAzin is the only treatment available for EAB and is a natural systemic insecticide made from seeds of the neem tree. It’s injected under the trees bark and kills EAB larvae. It’s quite expensive (up to $500 per tree) and needs to be repeated every two years indefinitely, so it’s not going to save all our ash trees. But it might keep death at bay for many of our trees until more effective control measures are being developed.

And hopefully it can save some of the trees on my street until that treatment is found. Otherwise, the walks on my street will become even sadder as the EAB devastates the beautiful ash trees.

Infected Tree Dying from EAB


1. The Star online. June 9, 2011. ‘Bug 1, Tree 0: Most of Toronto’s ash trees expected to die by 2017’. http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1006004–bug-1-tree-0-most-of-toronto-s-ash-trees-expected-to-die-by-2017

2. ibid

Other Reading

City of Toronto web site:  http://www.toronto.ca/trees/eab.htm

Canadian Food Inspection Agency: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/plants/plant-protection/insects/emerald-ash-borer/faq/eng/1337355937903/1337356019017


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