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Mount Royal, June 16, 2014 – As part of the 2014 Emerald Ash Borer Action Plan, Town of Mount Royal’s Technical Services is currently treating ash trees on public property using a biological control agent.

Out of the approximately 10,000 trees on public land in the Town, 389 ashes were counted in parks and green spaces. In 2012 and 2013, as part of the fight against the threat of the emerald ash borer, Technical Services sampled ashes in the Town’s various neighbourhoods to detect affected trees. The tests were conclusive: no infested trees were found.

The Town has developed an action plan for 2014. The plan includes, among other things, visual and debarking pest scouting, traps and targeted preventative organic treatments that comply with the Pesticides Management Code and the applicable municipal regulations. The Town uses the Slow Ash Mortality (SLAM) method, which has been shown to yield positive results. This method helps to protect the trees and limit the environmental impacts that could weaken the rest of our urban forest.

Of the 389 ash trees found in public green spaces in Mount Royal, slightly more than 300 may be treated over a two-year period.

First detected in Canada in 2002, the emerald ash borer is a beetle that was imported from Asia and has few natural enemies in North America. As a larva, it burrows and feeds under the bank of all species of ash tree. According to scientists at Forestry Canada, all affected stands of ash trees will die in the four years following infestation. In short, the borer is an extremely destructive insect.

Ash trees on your property? The Town encourages residents who have ash trees on their property to remain alert. In its larval stage, the borer creates S-shaped galleries under the tree’s bark. On becoming an adult, the beetle chews through the bark, creating a D-shaped exit hole 3.5 to 4 mm across.

If you suspect any of your trees have been infested, call Technical Services at 514-734-3054 for advice on what to do. You will also find additional information about the insect and possible treatments by clicking on the picture of the emerald ash borer on the home page of the Town’s website.