Company approved to cull ash trees on Fairy Lake shores
by Sandy Lindsay

January 25, 2017

Town Council

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The dreaded Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has struck at Fairy Lake in Southampton.

Some 500 trees have been infected and must be removed.

At Monday night's Council meeting,  Director of Community Services, Jayne Jagelewski, recommended the company Ontario Line Clearing and Tree Experts of Cobourg be approved to take on the cull with their tender bid of $81,360.

The Town previously approved $225,000 for the project, with tree removal estimated to cost up to $187,000.  According to Jagelewski, ten companies had bid on the proposal, ranging from $47,460 to $282,500 and that the choice was made based not only on removal but also on meeting several criteria.  The approved, considerably lower bid means it is hoped that more funds will be available for remediation.

Ontario Line Clearing, the approved company, also performs the majority of tree cutting for power companies throughout Bruce County, where trees may interfere with hydro transmission lines.

The town had been warned in July, 2012, that the destructive EAB was working its way through southwestern Ontario and would be moving toward Saugeen Shores.  Ken Goldsmith, Bruce County Week  Inspector, told Council at that time that, when the Borer strikes, "... there will be nothing left".

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The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive, destructive species first discovered in southeastern Michigan in the summer of 2002.   It is believed that the insect arrived in North America on solid wood packing material carried in cargo ships or airplanes originating from its native Asia. Since that time it has spread considerably.

The insect will infest all native ash trees, regardless of size. Unfortunately it is difficult to detect this insect early in its invasion. By the time it is found, it is often one year to three years after the initial attack

"We are partnering on this with the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority  (SVCA) on this," said Jagelewski, "as they are the experts and are taking the lead.  They will almost be 'babysitting' on this project."

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Thursday, January 26, 2017