Straight Facts & Tips on EAB

July-August 2012

Let’s continue on a more positive note. There are treatments for EAB that work. The Coalition for Urban Ash Tree Conservation EAB Management Statement begins, “We the undersigned strongly endorse ash tree conservation as a fundamental component of integrated programs to manage emerald ash borer (EAB) in residential and municipal landscapes. Cost-effective, environmentally-sound EAB treatment protocols are now available that can preserve ash trees through peak EAB outbreaks with healthy canopy intact.” See

Who’s in Charge?
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is the regulatory body managing invasives in Canada. The following link will lead you to their EAB homepage which lists the current regulated areas and provides you with the Canadian legislation, among lots of other pertinent information.  


Regulated Areas
Areas currently regulated for EAB include Essex in the most southerly tip of Ontario north to Huron, east to Durham (including all of Toronto), also Manitoulin Island and Sault Ste. Marie. The eastern region includes Leads, covering Ottawa, northeast to Prescott and Russell. There are also two points in Quebec including Montreal. Don’t be confused. This is not an outline of where EAB is feeding; it is simply a list of the “regulated areas.” Mapping of EAB locations is not available at this time in Ontario.

Alternative Species
CFIA recommend the following alternatives to ash: maples (silver, sugar, red), hackberry, honey locust, black walnut, eastern red cedar, tulip tree, oaks (swamp, white, burr, pin, red) and basswood. Don’t feel limited by this list. There are lots of species to choose from. Note that regular Ontario Arborist columnist Jen Llewellyn covered this in Ash Alternatives in our January/February 2012 issue. 

Just about every expert stresses the importance of not moving firewood. Although this pest does fly, its dispersal is often on firewood making our parks and campgrounds high-risk sites. Since people often can’t identify ash wood, emphasize the importance of never move firewood of any type. 

This year we saw record numbers of small orange butterflies called the red admiral and painted lady due to the unseasonable warm weather experienced across North America. The emerald ash borer also responded to the warmth. Timing for administration of treatments could be three weeks early this year. Check your local conditions to make sure your timing is right.

This year’s early drought was also a bonus to EAB. Stress tree watering to keep ash as healthy as possible. Ensure all injection systems are installed when the soil is damp, not soaked and not dry. 

Locating EAB
Here are the Canadian Forest Service (CFS) recommendations on branch sampling for EAB. Most other techniques for locating EAB only discover late or advanced finds (

Reporting EAB 
Report all EAB finds outside the regulated areas to 1-800-442-2342 (toll free) or online at Remember: arborists and the public made most EAB finds. 

General Public Information 
Although just about every city infested with EAB has pertinent links on their own sites, there are a couple of general sites with overall information. Visit and

Tree Value Calculator
When your customer wants to know (impartially) what their ash is worth: Note we ran an article on this in the March/April issue, Economics and the Fate of Ash Trees.

Treatment Options
It is now an established fact: Urban ash in regulated areas will die if not treated. The only possible exception is blue ash. Blue ash are hanging on longer but there is no proof they are resistant to EAB. There are some surviving ash trees in rural areas of the US but these are rare. In urban areas, if you want an ash to survive, it must be treated. 

Canada has three injection treatment options available. Their success rates and prices vary. Read the labels carefully. These products do not have equivalent tree survival ratings. More data is expected in the fall of 2012 on survival rates but remember, no treatment is not an option; you will lose canopy trees. 

The options available currently are:

Watch for Arborjet’s IMA-jet coming possibly as early as 2013 ( Sorry the company is not trying, at this point, to bring TREE-age into Canada.

Creative Funding for Treatment
While not actively funding treatment for private ash trees, the Town of Oakville is helping homeowners get the best bang for their buck. They have a Facebook page to help tree owners join together to get group discounts. (Imagine the savings if 3 or 10 homeowners within a block would all agree to have their trees treated the same day.) The town further reached out to Oakville’s business improvement group to find funding for treating healthy city trees under 20 cm. Once they reach 20 cm in diameter, the town will pay for treatment. The Town of Oakville also contacted the Chamber of Commerce and received their member support for treatment of business-owned trees. 

Creative Options for Homeowners or Municipalities

Pre-invasion. Underplant with a “safe” species and prune healthy ash street trees to avoid the bare look that is coming if treatment is not done. 

1) Use rural forestry techniques to control costs while clearing ash dominated areas.
2) Use the ash wood. Consider garden accent pieces or art. The following is an advertising pamphlet for 55 woodcarvings displayed in Orangeville. It includes a listing of the artist’s names: Another list of carvers is at More information on carvers is expected to be available in this summer at
3) Another option is to have the wood dried and milled for any use. Check your local paper, or, for listings of portable or other sawmills (and see Dave Boyt’s article in the last issue).

Moving Forward
Stay positive. The following sites are American in origin, but this does not imply that Canadian scientists are not actively involved in the treatment for EAB. We just lack really good, up-to-date websites. In the ten years since the discovery of EAB, extensive gains have been made. Traps and a pheromone lure are improving. The bio-control option in the US is ongoing – the rearing facility started operating in 2009 and it is pumping out wasps hungry to consume EAB. 


Resistant ash exist in a US laboratory. In time, they will be available for sale:


Current treatment options for high value ash are making advancements and more are in development. EAB and ash trees can coexist. Don’t give up on healthy canopy trees. 

Sidebar 1: Quick Fact. Staggering Financial Costs.
The Emerald Ash Borer has killed over one million trees to date in southwestern Ontario. The City of Toronto estimates it will cost $37 million over five years to cut and replace the city-owned trees that are killed by EAB (City of Toronto unpublished data). The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has spent over $30 million and cut over 130,000 trees to slow the spread of the beetle (CFIA unpublished data). Source: Ontario Invasive Species Strategic Plan July, 2012.

Read the whole report: 

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