Emerald Ash Borer

City building

Emerald Ash Borer management program

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was first discovered in Windsor, Ontario, in 2002. Since then, many other municipalities have had positive EAB identification. The spread of EAB in Southern Ontario averages about 40 km per year and was detected in Peterborough in summer 2014. Insect trapping throughout the last five years has showed that numbers are increasing and spreading widely across the City. 

The City of Peterborough has developed a 12-year (2014-2025), $4-million EAB management plan to respond to the emerald ash borer situation, including selectively treating, removing, and replacing ash trees on public property. 

The City's current EAB Management Plan includes the following:

Inventory, monitoring, and assessment

The City-owned ash trees are inspected each year for their health and state of infection from EAB. Healthy trees remain on the list for treatment, while declining or dead trees may be placed on a removal list.
Treated ash trees are currently injected with TreeAzin every two years. These injections aim to protect the ash trees from EAB infestation, but cannot guarantee their long-term survival. Ash trees that are treated by the City are painted with green dots on their trunks.
Tree removals
  • Ash trees that do not qualify for treatment are prioritized for removal based on their condition and hazard potential. Trees that are slated for removal are painted with a pink dot on their trunks. Residents will receive a notice informing them of the ash tree removal and subsequent replanting plan.
  • After the ash tree has been removed, stump grinding typically takes place in the following year. Once the stump has been ground, grass seed will be applied as the City does not provide sod.
Tree planting
As with the City's replacement tree policy, property owners who had a public ash tree removed are added to a prioritized list to receive a replacement tree. The replacement tree will be installed on the same property as the removed tree. The Urban Forestry team will determine the best species and location for the replacement tree.
Wood waste disposal
Wood from removed ash trees is unsuitable to be sold as firewood due to restrictions in moving infested wood. Removed ash trees and wood is recycled by the City and utilized as mulch for replacement tree plantings.
Larger sections of removed ash wood has also been milled and repurposed as reclaimed urban wood.
Public education and communication

In 2015, ash trees within the City were digitally mapped, identifying approximately 72,000 private and public trees. This geo-location of ash trees enabled a mail out of EAB information in June 2016 to over 3600 owners of private ash trees. 

Communications, outreach, and increased stakeholder involvement continue to educate and involve the entire community in the fight against EAB and to add to our knowledge about the movements of EAB and effective management strategies.

The City is currently working on the next iteration of the EAB Management Plan. The future plan will provide details on action plans and budgeting for managing EAB on City property. The plan will reassess the balance between treatment, removals, and replacement, as well as consideration for managing ash trees in parks, natural areas, and woodlots.

Tree inventory and Emerald Ash Borer status map

We maintain a map of ash trees that are next to streets and some that are in park areas as we monitor the health, treatment or removal of the trees.