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HomeLocal CouncilKawartha Lakes looking at plans to deal with Emerald Ash Borer

Kawartha Lakes looking at plans to deal with Emerald Ash Borer

Photo Courtesy: Town of Oakville

The Emerald Ash Borer has been killing ash tree’s in the City of Kawartha Lakes for at least three years and council is looking for ways to combat the problem.

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive beetle that kills almost all true ash trees. Eggs are laid on the bark and the larvae bore into the tree and feed just under the bark which kills the tree.Typically, within six years of an infestation arriving in a woodlot, more than 99% of the ash trees have been killed. This has a ripple effect as it increases the likelihood of invasion of forests by invasive plants, and poses a significant challenge to affected urban centres. There are an estimated 24,000 ash trees on public property in The City of Kawartha Lakes.

You can see evidence of the damage on the remaining ash trees (many have already been removed) in Memorial Park in Lindsay. Fleming Coillege says it is removing many of the trees on campus because they are infested as well as trees within Lindsay.

Council and city staff looked to the Urban Forestry students and faculty at Fleming College to develop an action plan for dealing with the dangerous bug. Together they developed a five step plan.

Step one is public awareness.  The group highlighted the importance of making sure the public knows how to identify ash trees on their property and also not to transport firewood as it could also be transporting the borer.

Step two is finding the staff and resources to inventory the trees using an open tree map on a smart phone.

Step three is getting the resources such as a bucket truck and smart phones for mapping.

Step four would include reducing the risk including tree removal and or pruning.

Step five is replanting and maintaining new species of trees.

The total estimated cost to remove all ash trees on public property would be over 3 million dollars. The City is strapped for cash and is also looking at a less expensive, preventative approach of removing large infected trees and trimming others.

Council received the report and will look at the issue further at an upcoming meeting.

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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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