There’s a new pest you have to watch out for this summer. One that lies silently within ash trees, only to emerge years later to kill it from the inside out.
It starts with an S-shape tunneling under the bark of the tree. Back and forth the Emerald Ash Borer burrows out squiggling lines, tightly cramped together. But you don’t see any of this, and ripping apart the tree to find out would kill the tree anyways.
The presences of roots with leaves begin growing from the trunk. It appears as beautiful foliage, but it’s actually an indicator that your tree is infected and will die. Vertical cracks start to appear up the trunk, a sign that the Emerald Ash Borer is starting to mature. As it matures, the leaves begin thinning and start to turn a pale yellow. What looks like a premature fFall season, is actually the insect sucking the life out of your ash tree. Eventually your tree will die.
Because of this the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is currently quarantining trees in Scarborough to save them from a bug infestation.
At Just one centimeter long, the tiny Emerald Ash Borer has been found in Scarborough ash trees in the area of Sheppard Avenue East and Highway 404 in North York, and has the potential to spread throughout Toronto.
The insect from Asia attacks all species of ash trees. But it came to Canada through the US border, where the passage of lumber is very common. How the quarantine will affect lumber transporters can only be determined through time, but it can’t be good.
“The emerald ash borer has killed millions of ash trees in Southwestern Ontario, Michigan and surrounding states, and poses a major economic and environmental threat to urban and forested areas in both countries,” the CFIA reported.
The bug was discovered in 2002 in Detroit. Having been present for years before its discovery, the insect had wreaked havoc on Canadian trees without any measures of control against it. That is of course until now, where a widespread campaign has been launched to quarantine the threat.
It is very difficult to detect infestations because symptoms and damages usually become evident two to four years after the initial infestation. So even with our new push to stop the spread of the Emerald Ashe Borer, it will be very difficult to salvage our trees.
“Infestations elsewhere in North America have increased and spread despite significant control measures attempted. Once established, the emerald ash borer has proven impossible to control,” the City of Toronto warned.
The CFIA has placed restrictions on the movement of nursery stock, trees, and lumber from all ash species, as well as firewood from all tree species outside the area, to prevent the spread of the insect.
To report suspicions that a tree may be infested by the emerald ash borer, call the CFIA at 1-866-463-6017. For more information on the emerald ash borer in the city of Toronto, visit: www.toronto.ca/trees/eab.htm.