City of Kitchener Prepares to Address Local Spread of Emerald Ash Borer

Kitchener – With the results of a winter tree sampling showing the presence of emerald ash borer is on the rise locally, the City of Kitchener is preparing to take measures to help mitigate the spread of the tree pest.

Since it was discovered in south Kitchener in 2010, the presence of the emerald ash borer has been actively monitored by city staff.

This year, 380 city ash trees were sampled in 37 plots across the city. The results have shown that EAB is now well-established in Ward 4, and also present in Ward 6.

Nineteen infested trees were found this year – a considerable increase compared to one tree in 2010. Significant EAB larva was also found in the trees sampled.

“The results show that the population is building prior to its exponential growth. It should also be noted that staff believe the new find in Ward 6 has been present for as long as the earlier finds in Ward 4,” said David Schmitt, the city’s environmental and urban forestry project manager.

The city’s current practice is to remove ash trees once they are infested. This approach helps to slow the spread of the tree pest, and assist in managing the costs of controlling EAB. The city will remove the infested trees after March 19.

Working with the Canadian Forest Service (CFS), the city will be removing another 12 to 15 small trees – less than 25 cm in height – in Ward 4 to assist with scientific research. This work will start the week of March 12.

New trees will be planted once a master tree planting plan is completed with public input.

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