Aerial View of the City of Peterborough

EAB Control and Treatment

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Responsibility of Local Municipalities

Once EAB is detected, municipalities must manage the damage caused by the pest with their own resources. At the time of this report it is thought that none of the eight Townships or two First Nations Reserves within Peterborough County has EAB Management Plans in place.

Responsibility of Private Property Owners

Property owners are responsible for ash trees on their private property which includes maintenance, treatment and removal. It is expected that costs for some private ash tree removals will be extensive. The Minimum Property Standards By-Law of the Municipal Code, Chapter 611.3.3 (e) and 611.3.34 states that property is to be maintained in a safe condition, which includes removal of dead or decayed trees or branches. (link)

EAB Test Tubes (Photo by P. Hambidge)

Control

For the past few years’ research has continued into a variety of chemical and biological treatments to assist in controlling EAB. Currently, one insecticide (a bio-pesticide) called TreeAzin™, which has full registration in Canada, has been proven effective for protection and treatment of EAB larvae. The product is owned by the Canadian Forest Service and was developed in collaboration with BioForest Technologies Inc. TreeAzin™is a class 4 pesticide (least hazardous that is commercial). The chemical is injected into the tree and distributed throughout the canopy as the tree transpires, where it affords 2 years protection from EAB. It can only be injected by a licensed pesticide operator and is usually carried out at any time starting from the first or second week of June through to the end of August. The injection process itself usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour depending upon environmental conditions and tree size.

Costs for treatment of residential ash trees in 2015 averaged about $6.00 - $6.50 per centimetre of trunk diameter, measured at 1.3m above the highest grade at the base of the tree, or, what is commonly known as Diameter at Breast Height (DBH).

 

Predatory Wasps

Wasp Photo (by bioweb.uwlax.edu)

Two species of wasp predators have been released recently in Ontario and will likely spread within Ontario over the coming years. These wasp parasitoids will take many years to assert themselves and will have no effect in Peterborough within the 10 year period of the EAB management plan. Although biological control is seen as the only sustainable long-term solution to EAB, it will have no effect on EAB or prevent the loss of trees within the 10 year management plan in Peterborough unless other measures are taken now.

 

Treatment

High value and other identified ash trees will receive injections of TreeAzin™ (or other approved pesticide treatments as available) for protection against EAB. Treatment usually focuses on street trees, and high profile specimen trees in parks or where there is a large ash tree population and therefore greater impact with their decline. Treated ash trees require ongoing treatment every two years until the threat of EAB has passed or alternative controls are available. Treatments can be invaluable in managing the outbreak and spread of EAB to other areas by suppressing local populations of the insect. TreeAzin™, a bio-pesticide derived from plant extracts, is the chemical used almost exclusively by municipalities. To date it has proven 95-97% effective when injected before the tree reaches pre-determined levels of damage.

 

Visit the BioForest website at http://www.bioforest.ca/serviceproviders/ for a list of TreeAzin™ service providers for the Peterborough area.

Removal

Based on the degree of infestation and health, ash trees need to be removed to limit hazardous conditions and minimize the safety risk associated with dead and declining trees. Ash wood is brittle by nature and the way in which trees are killed by EAB adds to a rapid structural decline after the death of the tree. This requires that tree removals be carried out within a short period of time after tree death for safety reasons.