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Saugeen Valley Conservation inoculating against Emerald Ash Borer

July 21 2015

Science

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The presence of the Emerald Ash Borer has now been verified in the Town of Kincardine. The Emerald Ash Borer is an insect that first made its appearance in the United States and Canada in the 1990s and has killed between 50 100 million ash trees.

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Larvae bore into the trunks of trees feeding their way around, eventually girdling and killing the tree. Jim Penner, Manager of Forestry with Saugeen Conservation, says,  "Its very destructive, resulting in the death of even large trees within a few years."   The insect targets all species of ash trees.

"We had a clear indication that the infestation had reached this area", said Murray Clarke, Chief Administrative Officer with the Municipality of Kincardine, "but we now know that it has been verified within the actual town area.  Our team has developed a response protocol that is aimed primarily at dealing with trees that present a degree of hazard. Some of the trees that have already been infected will have to come down while other options, such as possible treatment are being looked at with regard to prize ash trees within parks and other public areas.

An Emerald Ash Borer Working Group has been established in Grey and Bruce Counties to monitor and track this invasive insect. The Working Group consists of representatives from both counties, as well as the City of Owen Sound, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the National Park Service and both Grey Sauble and Saugeen Valley Conservation Authorities. In addition to tracking and monitoring, the group has held several workshops and educational opportunities. The EAB Working Group initiative is sponsored by Bruce Power.

"Were just about to begin treatment services again this year to landowners throughout the two counties," said Penner. "It makes it difficult because we only have a small window of opportunity in which to provide the inoculation services. The process must be done between June and the end of August to ensure that eggs and /or larvae have been destroyed."

The treatment provides protection for highly valued ash trees for up to two years, upon which time application may have to be repeated, depending on conditions. The process can take a few minutes or a few hours, depending on weather conditions, wind speed, tree size, etc. Costs range between $100 to $500 per tree.

The actual procedure utilizes a product called TreeAzin, which degrades naturally within the tree tissues and does not pose health risks to either people or wildlife.

Saugeen Conservation would also like to remind people to NOT move firewood. This has been proven to be one of the most common means of moving this insect from one location to another.

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For this watershed, the EAB has now been found in most all locations along the shoreline. The Emerald Ash Borer targets all species of ash trees.  "We have a very narrow window for the treatment of this insect,"  says Donna Lacey, Forestry Technician with SVCA. "Landowners who may be interested in saving their prized ash trees should call as soon as possible as the treatment cannot be applied after the end of August," she stresses.

For more information, contact Donna Lacey at Saugeen Conservation (519) 367-3040, ext. #231 or Anne Lennox-Brindle at Grey Sauble Conservation, 519-376-3076 OR Jim Penner at Saugeen Conservation (519) 367-3040, ext. #233.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015