The emerald ash borer is killing trees in various regions across the North American continent at a rapid rate. The infestation is a major concern in the West Island.

The City of Beaconsfield undertook a preventative approach to the emerald ash borer infestation by means of treating its ash trees with a product which destroys the bug early on. The program launched five years ago led by regional director Patrice Boileau is reported to have reduced the infestation rate down to 5% recorded in 2018, in comparison with neighbouring cities which in the same year had an infestation rate of up to 50%.

The subject was raised at Beaconsfield’s latest council meeting by a resident concerned about the fate of the ash trees in Beaconsfield after hearing about Montreal’s announcement that 40,000 trees are to be condemned this year. “We are confident that our approach is producing results,” Boileau explained when questioned.

The city’s program also provides subsidies for private owners to save their trees. The bug, which likely arrived in Ontario from East Asia in wooden packaging, was originally detected in North America in 2002 in Detroit (Michigan) and in Windsor (Ontario). Since its detection over 15 years ago, the emerald ash borer is reported to have killed millions of trees in Canada.

Beaconsfield’s project to save the ash trees was established rapidly when the bug was first detected in the area in order to avoid progression of the infestation to a stage where the trees would need to be cut down.

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