• Carmen Marie Fabio

Beaconsfield EAB treatments ahead of projected goal


YLJ FILE PHOTO/CARMEN MARIE FABIO

The typical D-shaped trail is the tell-tale damage caused by the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).

With the presence of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) now being reported in both the Vaudreuil-Soulanges and West Island regions, Beaconsfield administrators report a higher than expected number of residents taking advantage of the discounts offered to purchase TreeAzin treatment for their Ash trees.

“We’ve estimated (there are) 8100 Ash trees on private property with 7000 having a trunk diameter of over 15 centimetres,” said Beaconsfield Director General Patrice Boileau. “Our tender was to get 10 per cent of those 7000 trees. At the present time, we’ve had request for over 1100 trees,” said Boileau of the initiative’s 16 per cent treatment request as of the August 10 deadline.

Boileau said objective to reach the comparatively low percentage of privately owned trees was debated with the decision being based on the idea that awareness will continue to grow in the community, particularly as the presence of the bug becomes more evident.

“Some people are going to wait until the EAB is closer before treating their trees. We’re probably in year one of the bug,” said Boileau. “The next three years will be very important to treat the trees if you want to have a certain opportunity to preserve them.”

Boileau said the earlier the trees are treated, the better the chance it has against the insect that burrows under the bark and feeds on the vascular tissue responsible for carrying water and nutrients to the upper canopy of leaves. Ash trees currently make up about 20 per cent of the town’s trees on public and private property.

Each TreeAzin treatment costs approximately $5/cm in trunk diameter and must be applied every two years for the life of the Ash tree; however Boileau said between the years eight and 12, if a nearby infestation has been detected, surrounding trees may require yearly treatments.

The town treated its approximately 1000 Ash trees lining the streets this year at a cost of $200,000 and will be treating its estimated 1500 trees growing in parks and public areas in the coming years. The town also plans to begin felling trees that are smaller than 15 centimetres in trunk diameter this fall.

“To replace all the (town owned) Ash trees in Beaconsfield would cost almost $6 million,” said Boileau, speculating on the potential result if the town hadn’t acted. “Probably by the year 2020, we’d have to put $6 million on the table to replace them because as soon as the tree is infested, it’s dangerous,” he said, describing how the infestation results in the structural integrity of the tree being compromised. “It’s not like oak trees that can stand up for years even when they’re dead.”

Cut-off for the Ash tree treatment is August 31 as the insect is no longer as mobile and its reproductive period has ended for the season.

For more information, consult http://www.beaconsfield.ca/en/biodiversity/emerald-ash-borer.html

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