Emerald Ash Borer

Winter 2012 Update Background
Emerald ash borer(EAB) is an introduced tree pest that causes catastrophic loss of ash trees. First identified in the Windsor area in 2002, it has now become established throughout southern Ontario largely due to the movement of firewood. Kitchener has been monitoring EAB and updating the community on this issue since it was found in Windsor. It is estimated that EAB has already killed millions of trees in North America. With little federal and provincial support municipalities must bear the full cost of EAB, an issue that is costing cities millions of dollars. In August 2010, EAB was positively identified in south Kitchener (Homer Watson Boulevard & Highway 401). Since that time the City has increased its work in this area and the following information provides an update on the current status of EAB in the City and the action the City is taking.

Current Status of Emerald Ash Borer in Kitchener
The City has just completed its second year of winter branch sampling. This year 380 City ash trees were sampled in 37 plots across the City. This method developed by the Canadian Forest Service provides a good indication of the spread of EAB. This year’s work shows that Emerald Ash Borer(EAB) is now: 1. Well established in Ward 4, and 2. Also present in Ward 6 Compared to the 2011 results, this year’s work shows an increase in the number of infested trees (nineteen compared to one), and a significant increase in the number of EAB larva found in the trees sampled. The figure to the right provides an overview of what staff believe is the current status of EAB in Kitchener based on City Wards. In addition to the positive finds in Ward 4 & 6 it is felt that EAB is likely already present in Wards 3, 5, 7, 8, and 9. Currently there are no signs indicating EAB is present in Wards 1, 2, or 10. The information presented here is based on two years of EAB monitoring. Finding EAB in the early years is very difficult. The most recent infestation in Ward 6 is well developed and may have been present as long as the infestations found in Ward 4. This increases the likelihood that other advanced infestations may be found and is supported by the decline of ash trees being seen in other parts of the City.

Urban Forestry Factsheet Series (Invasive Species)
Managing Kitchener’s Urban Forest For Today & Tomorrow

Emerald Ash Borer
Winter 2012 Update What can we expect next?
EAB is a challenging pest. In the early years it is very difficult to detect, often being present for 3 to 5 years before being found. Then, within a few years the population explodes through exponential growth with dying and dead ash trees present everywhere. Based on current information staff believe Kitchener’s EAB population is becoming established and reaching the point where significant growth in the population will occur. The dry hot summer last year and mild winter is expected to further increase the growth of EAB. This year it is expected that new EAB infestations will be found in other parts of the City, and increased tree mortality will begin in the following years.
> 95% mortality of all ash trees in 5- 10 years

EAB Population

Projected state of population winter 2012

Time

Action the City is taking to manage EAB
The City has been preparing for EAB for a number of years. With the completion of the street and active parkland tree inventory, the City now knows the location of all ash trees on these lands. An iTree Eco study to be completed this summer will identify the extent of ash trees on other lands. Knowing where ash trees are is the first step in managing this issue. In the upcoming months an EAB Strategy based on current information, projected costs and management options will be developed. The options to manage EAB continue to change based on the knowledge gained from other municipalities and advances in scientific research. Chemical injections and preserving the mature ash tree canopy are two areas receiving more attention. Recognizing the constantly changing variables, the EAB Strategy will need to be adapted and reviewed yearly. In the short-term the City will be: 1. Removing the 19 infested trees found during this year’s branch sampling on Pathfinder Cres, Vintage Cres., Windrush Trail and Kingswood Drive to slow the spread of EAB and assist in managing the costs of EAB. Once the trees are removed the stumps will be removed, a master tree planting plan will be developed, and new trees planted. 2. Working with the Canadian Forest Service(CFS) the City will remove 10-15 small trees ( < 25 cm) in Ward 4. These trees will be used for research purposes to develop new techniques to monitor EAB in small trees. 3. Continuing to keep the public informed about this issue and provide updates as required. The primary source for information will be the City’s website. To learn more about EAB go to the City’s web page www.kitchener.ca and search the site using the word “EAB”.

The cost to remove and replant 4,500 ash trees on residential streets will exceed 4.5 millon dollars. The costs associated with 2,000 ash trees in City parks, 1,000 hectares of natural area and other City lands still needs to be determined.
Urban Forestry Factsheet Series (Invasive Species)
Managing Kitchener’s Urban Forest For Today & Tomorrow

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