Friday, November 22, 2013

Emerald Ash Borer continues to spread across                                         The Regional Municipality of York

Most ash trees on Regional roads will be dead by 2018

The Emerald Ash Borer continues to spread across The Regional Municipality of York, killing ash trees in the process.

Surveys indicate the insect is now well established in the Towns of East Gwillimbury and Georgina. Most ash trees in the southern part of the Region are either dead or in decline due to the insect, which was first discovered in York Region in 2008.

Through York Regional Council’s approval of the Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan in 2011, $10 million was allocated for monitoring and managing the insect’s impact. Mitigation measures through the 10-year plan include removal and replacement of affected ash trees on Regional roads, treatment of select large and still healthy trees with insecticide, communication and public outreach activities and tree planting incentives.

“The Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan provides direction for York Region staff to deal with the effects of this insect,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. “Dying and dead trees along Regional roads may pose a health hazard if they fall and must be removed. All trees that are cut down will be replaced with a different species, not susceptible to the Emerald Ash Borer.”

Street tree removal and replacement on Regional roads is ongoing. By 2104, 2,100 ash trees will have been removed from Regional roads, with 1,500 removed in 2013 and 600 in 2012. Ash trees lining Regional roads in urban areas will be replaced the following year. It is difficult to determine whether a tree has been infested until it’s too late to treat it with an insecticide. Once infested, a previously healthy ash tree can die within three years.

“Ensuring our residents have as much information as possible is important to help stop the insect from spreading and for those with affected trees, to deal with the situation,” said Town of Richmond Hill Regional Councillor Vito Spatafora, Chair of Environmental Services. “York Region has hosted 10 public outreach sessions for residents directly affected by the Emerald Ash Borer. Residents with an ash tree on their property are encouraged to seek advice from a certified arborist.”

The Region has also partnered with Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests to deliver their Emerald Ash Borer Ambassador Program to York Region residents. The program teaches residents about the insect, helps them teach others in their community and gives them tools to organize ash tree treatments or removals in their neighbourhood.

For more information, visit

For more information on Emerald Ash Borer in York Region visit

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Media Contact: Barbara Moss, Corporate Communications, The Regional Municipality of York

905-830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 1237  Cell: 905-505-5775

The Regional Municipality of York provides services to 1.1 million residents and 42,000 businesses that employ 533,000 people