The City adopted its emerald ash borer management plan and the emerald ash borer propagation control bylaw (519) to fight the spread of the emerald ash borer in its area.
From now on, planting ash trees in Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot is prohibited. Furthermore, a permit issued by the Urban Planning Department is required to cut down an ash tree. Even with a tree cutting permit, ash trees may not be pruned or felled between March 15 and October 1 due to the high risk of insect dispersal.
Questions about your ash trees? Feel free to call the Green Line at 514 453-4128 ext. 3235 or the Land Management Department at 514 453-4128, ext. 3227.
Our inspection rounds to identify ash trees on private property have already begun. This inventory will help us better determine and anticipate the scope of potential damage caused by this destructive insect. We will leave an inspection visit notice to let owners know we came by. Please be bear in mind that owners are responsible for managing ash trees on private property.
In Notre-Dame-de l’Île-Perrot, where a large proprotion of the trees on public and private property are ash trees, this event will have major environmental and financial consequences. Steps taken by the City to spread out ash tree cutting, transportation, disposal and replacement costs (described in the Plan de gestion de l’agrile du frêne) will help slow the spread of the insect, but will not stop it.
Here are a few facts about the emerald ash borer:
- In April, the area regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to control the emerald ash borer was expanded to include not only infested municipalities but also potentially infested municipalities. The 23 municipalities of Vaudreuil-Soulanges, including the four cities on Île Perrot now belong to this area.
- The arrival of the emerald ash borer spells the demise of 99 % of ash trees in our area. This outcome is practically unavoidable.
- Our approach will slow the advance of the emerald ash borer and thus enable us to plan tree cutting activities more effectively to spread out the cost.
- Ash trees in declining condition or dying create a substance that attracts the beetle.
- Adult beetles eat the leaves of the ash tree while the larvae burrow galleries under the bark where they live and feed; this prevents the sap vital to the trees from reaching the canopy. Consequently, the ash trees die.
- The beetle can spend its entire life in the same ash tree. However, if an infested ash is cut down while the beetle is in its adult phase (mid-March to October), it will leave the tree to find another. Accordingly, cutting an infested ash between mid-March and October significantly facilitates the beetle’s spread.
- A treatment is available to protect ash trees. To wait for the symptoms to appear would make it too late to take action: symptoms are only visit a few years after the tree has been infested.
- A dead ash tree soon poses a danger to human safety and must been quickly cut down.
The emerald ash borer is a metallic green insect between 1.4 and 1.8 cm long. A copper colour can be seen under its wings as it prepares to fly away. The larvae resemble flat white worms and can measure up to 3 cm long in their final phase of growth.
Originally from South-East Asia, the emerald ash bore is indigenous to China, Japan, Korea and Russia. The beetle was discovered in North America in 2002 in the cities of Windsor (Ontario) and Detroit (United States). Its accidental introduction has already caused the loss of over 70 million ash trees in the United States and Canada. The insect probably arrived on wood packing material carried in international cargo ships.
Ash tree features
Ash trees are very abundant in the greater Montreal area, especially on Île Perrot. According to estimates, close to 50% of trees on the island are ash trees. Here is how to recognize an ash tree.
The ash is one of the only deciduous trees with opposing, composite leaves. Its leaves comprise an odd number (5 to 11) of leaflets (small leaves). Each leaf and each branch is paired with another on the other side, at the same level. Ash leaflets do not have indentations; they are oval-shaped and pointed at the ends.
The bark of ash trees can vary in colour and according to the age of the tree. Young ash trees have relatively smooth bark ranging in colour from grey to reddish brown. The bark of large ash trees is grey with ridges that criss-cross to form a diamond-like pattern.
Signs of emerald ash borer attack
The emerald ash borer is difficult to detect. However, the following tell-tale signs can be helpful in diagnosing the insect’s presence. The beetle attacks ash trees beginning at the crown. By the time the signs are visible from the ground, the tree is already under severe attack and beyond the point of saving. Early detection of the insect is possible.
When they reach the adult stage, adult beetles must drill an exit hole to leave the tree. This hole is shaped like a capital letter “D” and is unique to the emerald ash borer. When these holes appear on an ash tree, the emerald ash borer is the most likely cause since it is the only beetle species in North America that attacks ash trees.
S-shaped galleries under the bark
On lifting the bark of an ash tree under attacked we see the characteristic S-shaped galleries. These galleries are specific to the emerald ash borer larvae that create them as they feed on tissue under the bark.
Symptoms of ash trees under attack
The emerald ash borer is difficult to detect. The few symptoms mentioned below may be potential indications of a beetle attack, but other insects or diseases could also be the cause.
Thinning leaf canopy
The galleries carved by the emerald ash borer larvae under the bark block the flow of sap and prevent it from reaching the canopy of the tree. This causes the leaves at the top of the tree to turn yellow and fall.
Epicormic branching on trunk (branch sprouts)
The tree tries to make up for the loss of foliage in its canopy by producing new branches on the trunk.
The beetle larvae hiding under the bark are a favourite food of woodpeckers. When woodpeckers find an infested ash tree, they visit it often to feed. The ash tree soon becomes riddled with holes that are readily visible when the ash trees are bare of leaves.
Action by the City
For ash trees located on public property, the City of NDIP is taking the following approach:
- All public ash trees have been or are about to be inventoried using a GPS. Ash trees are classified according to their features, ranging from “outstanding” to “very poor condition.”
- Ash trees in very poor condition will be cut down and replaced, while outstanding specimens will be treated to protect them from the beetle.
- Traps have been installed and geo-referened in ash trees in our area to detect the arrival of the emerald ash borer.
- Bark will regularly be removed from the branches of area ash trees until late fall to detect the beetle’s arrival.
- The City is trying to identify a site to accommodate felled municipal and privately-owned ash trees over 20-cm in diameter. The branches and bark of the large trunks will be shredded at these locations to neutralize the insect.
- To slow the propagation of the beetle once infested sites are discovered in our area, the City will apply infestation isolation techniques (felling of unaffected ash trees around the infestation site, treatment, intensive detection, etc.).
- A new municipal bylaw has been passed prohibiting ash tree cutting between April 1 and September 30.
- We have notified all tree trimmers, pruners, stump removers, loggers and other lumber workers in our area about the importance of not removing wood from the CFIA-regulated area.
Action by residents
- Take an inventory of your trees and determine whether your ash trees are healthy. In case of doubt, contact Land Management/Gestion du territoire and a City employee will drop by your home.
- Decide which ash trees you want to keep. Healthy trees can be treated with a bio-pesticide (TreeAzin), at your expense. This treatment must be administered by qualified professionals; the cost is approximately $200 per treatment per tree. While this cost may seem high, it is often less than the cost of tree felling, stump removal and replacement.
- Monitor the general condition of your ash trees. If an ash tree shows signs of decline, only an expert can determine whether the emerald ash borer is the reason. In cases where beetle infestation is in doubt:
- Contact the Horticulture Service, Land Management/Gestion du territoire. The horticulturalist will visit your home and ask you to cut down and remove (at your expense) 2 branches from the tree canopy for debarking.
- If your tree is infested but has been found safe by the horticulture team, you will have to have it cut down between October 1 and March 15. The horticulture team will determine whether infestation confinement action is required to limit the spread of the emerald ash borer to surrounding ash trees.
- If your tree is infested but has been found un afe by the horticulture team, you will have to have it cut down immediately. The horticulture team will determine whether infestation confinement action is required to limit the spread of the emerald ash borer to surrounding ash trees.
It is extremely important to comply with the CFIA prohibition on removing from the regulated area:
- Emerald ash borers
- ALL parts of the ash tree (except dead leaves in fall)
- Firewood of ALL TREE SPECIES
For more information:
Green Line: 514 453-4128 ext.3235 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Land Management: 514 453-4128 ext. 3237
MRC website on Emerald ash borer: http://agrile.mrcvs.ca/
CQEEE : http://agrile.cqeee.org
BioForest Technologies inc. : 1 888 236-7378