• John Jantak

Emerald ash borer devastating ash trees in Vaudreuil-Dorion


PHOTO COURTESY VILLE DE VAUDREUIL-DORION

Among the signs of infestation of an ash tree by the emerald ash borer is a lightening of the crown or top of the tree where the branches jut out, dead and dying branches above the crown, discoloration of the bark and the premature yellowing of foliage.

The City of Vaudreuil-Dorion announced that its ash trees are in a period of strong infestation from the Emerald ash borer, four years after the destructive insect was discovered on its territory.

Present throughout the city

“It’s very bad. Where we have concentrations of ash trees they are all dead,” Mayor Guy Pilon told The Journal. “If you go along Quinchien River, you can see how bad it is. We tried with different ways to save them, but most of the time there’s no point trying to save those trees because we know they’re going to die anyway.”

The problem isn’t confined to the older section of Vaudreuil-Dorion – it’s present throughout the city. Ash trees were planted all along the north side of Boulevard-de-la-Gare adjacent to the Harden shopping centre and now they have to be removed because of infestation, said Pilon.

Signs of the emerald ash borer

Residents are advised to pay attention to their ash trees and, for reasons of safety, have them cut down as soon as possible if the trees are dead or show signs of withering. Among the signs of infestation is a lightening of the crown or top of the tree where the branches jut out, dead and dying branches above the crown, discoloration of the bark and the premature yellowing of foliage.

D-shaped holes are visible on the bark and S-shaped grooves are present near the bottom of the tree. Many new branches growing at the base of the tree can also indicate the presence of the Emerald ash borer.

Citizens who want help to determine the health of their trees are invited to contact the city’s environment department via telephone at (450) 455-3371, option 1. Residents can also send an email to environnement@ville.vaudreuil-dorion.qc.ca.

Treating infected trees

Residents can opt to treat the ash trees with TreeAzin® – a botanical pesticide which targets the Emerald ash borer. They should apply to the city now because the treatment must be performed between June 1 and August 31.

In cases of heavy infestation, it is recommended to treat the affected trees for two consecutive years, allow one year to pass, and resume treatment for another two years. The city provides a grant for the application of the botanical pesticide by reimbursing 50 per cent of the cost up to a maximum of $200 per tree – maximum of two ash trees per year per residence.

To find out more about the entrepreneurs offering the botanical pesticide treatment, visit the BioForest website at www.bioforest.ca/index.cfm.

In the event a tree has to be removed, a tree cutting permit will be issued for free by the Permits and Inspections Division located at City Hall at 2555 Dutrisac Street.

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