• John Jantak

MRC Vaudreuil-Soulanges takes aggressive action after EAB spotted

PHOTO COURTESY MARCUS OWEN

Kelly Tree Service technician treating an Ash tree with TreeAzin on a Hudson property in early August. The destructive insect has now been spotted in many places throughout the Vaudreuil-Soulanges and West Island regions.

Residents living throughout the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region are being advised to keep watch over their Ash trees after the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was discovered in the municipality of L’Île-Perrot last Wednesday, August 12.

The advisory was issued by the Municipalité Régionale de Comté (MRC) de Vaudreuil-Soulanges to all 23 towns and cities under its jurisdiction in an effort to combat the spread of the destructive insect and to ensure it doesn’t gain a foothold in the region.

To make the public aware of situation, the MRC also launched a new website devoted exclusively to the Emerald Ash Borer at http://agrile.mrcvs.ca/accueil which provides complete information about the insect, photographs to help people identify Ash trees, and what property owners can do to prevent the encroachment of the pest further west into its territory.

While the MRC is taking a proactive approach to prevent the spread of the borer further into its territory, MRC Communications Director Simon Richard said each municipality is devising its own individual strategies to deal with the problem.

“The first thing we want people to do is to be able to identify what an ash tree looks like so they can determine if they have any growing on their property,” Richard told Your Local Journal. “

Richard said some of the telltale signs that an ash tree may be infested with the EAB include dry dead leaves on its lower branches and holes in the bark that when peeled back may reveal trails where the insects have begun burrowing into the tree.

If the EAB is spotted and especially and if there is damage to any Ash tree, Richard advises residents contact their respective municipal officials to report the situation as soon as possible and to find out what specific action is required in accordance to the preventive strategy adopted by each individual municipality.

One possible preventive method to keep trees from becoming infected is to apply the biological insecticide TreeAzin around the base of the tree. The insecticide is applied by a certified arbourist at a cost of about $200 per tree with a 40-centimeter diameter trunk.

The West Island municipality of Beaconsfield instituted this aggressive preventive approach late last summer to keep the EAB from gaining a foothold in its community after it received a 20 litre donation of TreeAzin to treat trees on its public lands.

The worst case scenario is that homeowners will have to cut down infested trees at an estimated cost of $700 per tree, a potentially expensive proposition if a property has several trees on site which is why the MRC is taking a proactive approach to make people aware of the EAB.

The EAB is a non-native, invasive and destructive insect from Asia that apparently found its way into Canada from imported ash wood products in 2011 and has been spotted in some West Island municipalities.

The MRC also hosted a public information session about the EAB on Tuesday evening August 18 at the Opticentre de Saint-Jean-Baptiste that featured Hélène Godmaire from the Conseil québécois des espèces envahissantes. Godmaire presented an overview of the problem and recommendations on how to prevent an EAB infestation.

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