MEDIA RELEASE (July 13, 2016): Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has killed millions of trees in North America since 2002. It was identified in the Niagara Region in 2009. By 2016, Town staff estimate that approximately 16,500 ash trees in Fort Erie are infested; with about 80% of them located on private property.
EAB is an introduced insect pest from Asia that attacks and kills all species of true ash trees (genus: Fraxinus) by feeding beneath the bark and disrupting the flow of water and nutrients within the tree. Trees infested with EAB, which do not receive proper treatment within a specific period of time, will die. Unlike other tree species, ash trees killed by EAB have full tree failures significantly sooner after they are dead. The mortality rate of EAB infested trees can happen as fast as one year; however, it typically occurs within 2-3 years.
“As a result of this infestation, the Town is taking proactive measures to protect our community by removing dying and infected trees from our parks and roadways,” said Mayor Wayne Redekop. “In 2016, the Town will be spending $468,000 for the trimming and removal of trees on Town property. This is a significant increase over last year’s budget.”
In addition to the work done in 2015, the Town has recently completed a tree removal program in South Fort Erie. Staff has now moved to the Crescent Park area and will continue assessing the EAB impact in that area for the remainder of the year. As part of the EAB program, trees marked by with a white “X” or “X & H” will be removed in an effort to address the potential public safety hazards. Due to this year’s drastic increase in tree removals, approximately $65,000 will be allocated to a re-planting program scheduled to begin in Fall 2016.
While the Town will be removing the selected trees from its property, Fort Erie residents and businesses are reminded that it is their responsibility to manage or remove trees on their own properties.
For more information on the Emerald Ash Borer program in Fort Erie, please call 905-871-1600 or visit www.forterie.ca.