August: The Last Month to Treat Ash Trees

Town of Oakville completes treatment of approximately 6,000 ash trees.

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The Town of Oakville is reminding residents that as part of Health Canada’s approval of the natural bio-insecticide TreeAzin, the deadline to treat ash trees from the threat of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is August 31. Urban forestry professionals expect to see ash trees declining in larger numbers than in previous years and warn that if you have not started to treat your tree, this may be the last summer an effective treatment program can begin before trees are too infested to be saved.

Oakville has the most aggressive management program in Canada to combat EAB. To date, the town has treated approximately 6,000 public ash trees on streets and in parks.

“We continue to encourage residents to follow suit,” Oakville Mayor Rob Burton said. “About 80 per cent of Oakville’s treatable ash tree canopy is on private property. We have set an ambitious canopy coverage target, and an important step in reaching this goal is for residents to treat their ash trees.”

According to John McNeil, manager of Forestry Services at the Town of Oakville, the bio-insecticide TreeAzin is a natural and safe product derived from seeds of the neem tree, and is approved by Health Canada to control EAB between June and the end of August. It provides two years of protection before it must be reapplied.

Emerald Ash Borer in Oakville“Qualified service providers will let you know if your ash tree can be treated. The cost for injections ranges by vendor and the size, location, and health of the tree. Make sure you get multiple quotes and do your research,” McNeil said. “Leaving untreated, infested ash trees breeds more EAB which intensifies the problem and threatens those trees that are being treated.”

In addition, dead trees can become safety hazards and may constitute a violation of the Property Standards By-law if they are deemed high risk. The town advises property owners to contact a certified arborist to safely remove dead and dying trees and suggests replanting new native trees to help meet Oakville’s target of 40 per cent urban forest canopy coverage by 2057.

Removal and replanting of municipal trees will take place over the next five years. The town launched the Oakville Canopy Club in 2011 in response to EAB infestations. This innovative community outreach program educates residents about EAB and other urban forestry initiatives.

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