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Beach Triangle Residents Association

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The Beach Triangle Residents Association, Toronto, Ontario

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The Emerald Ash Borer Has Been Detected in Toronto

By Terra McKenna

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The Emerald Ash Borer is a wood boring beetle from Asia that infests and kills all species of healthy Ash trees. It was first detected in the United States and Southwestern Ontario back in 2002 and has now reached trees in the Sheppard Ave. E. and Hwy. 404 vicinity of Toronto.

Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer is capable of dispersal flight up to several kilometers and is therefore hard to quarantine. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is currently working on keeping a 5 km quarantine radius around affected areas but the best way to keep our trees safe from this insect is to limit transportation and use of Ash species from wood packaging, nursery stock, firewood and raw wood materials.

Detection is very difficult because symptoms such as suckers on the trunk of the tree, cracking bark, D-shaped holes and thinning crowns can also occur naturally, without infestation. Furthermore, these results are usually not noticeable until two or more years of infestation. The only true way of finding out if the tree has been attacked is to cut the tree down and do an internal analysis.

In 2004, Toronto Urban Forestry issued a moratorium on the planting of Ash trees on city property. Information on regulated areas for the Emerald Ash Borer can be found on the CFIA website: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/plaveg/pestrava/agrpla/mc/2007ontarioe.shtml

If you think that you may have an Ash tree that has been affected, please contact Canadian Food Inspection Agency at 1-866-463-6017.