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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Owen Sound

Owen Sound | by Matt Hermiz  

Invasive species found in tests by MNRF

Emerald Ash Borer has been confirmed in trees in Owen Sound for the first time.

City officials say the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry sampled three boulevard ash trees in the 1000 blocks of 2nd Avenue East and confirmed EAB infestation.

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an insect that has killed tens of millions of ash trees in the United States and eastern Canada.

The city says this is not the first detection of EAB in the area. It was confirmed in Meaford in 2013 and Georgian Bluffs in 2016

Owen Sound city staff say they began placing traps to identify EAB within city limits from 2013-17, but none were identified.

The city says it proactively developed a Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan in 2014 in response to the advance of the invasive species into the area.

In 2015, the city completed a tree inventory of trees on boulevards and parklands.  

While in 2016, as a preventative measure, a bi-annual Emerald Ash Borer inoculation program was initiated on 85 selected trees distributed throughout the City's park system and street trees.  

Earlier this year, the city added 20 trees to the program and inoculated 105 trees in August.

"The plan provides direction for a 10 year period and includes inoculating environmentally and culturally significant ash trees and strategic removal of trees that are not selected for protection," a city statement explains. "The plan includes strategic direction for additional tree planting initiatives to preserve and replenish the urban canopy."

City staff say signs of EAB infection include crown defoliation, D shaped exit holes in the tree trunk and epicormic shoots growing at the base of the tree.

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