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The Emerald Ash Borer - what can we do?

This morning Gerry Engel of Trees Winnipeg was on Ash Street to talk about the Emerald Ash Borer - a beetle from Asia which arrived in North America (near Detroit, Michigan) in 2002.  It has spread to 35 states and 5 Canadian provinces, including Manitoba.   
Gerry Engel, above, advised people to take four main steps:
1) Invest in prevention - Water all trees well, plant a range of species and do not move firewood
2) Assess your trees - (72% of Ash trees in Winnipeg are on private property).  You can get a qualified and insured professional arborist to examine your trees.
3) Plan: Explore your options and decide on a plan that's right for you. Trees can be injected with a chemical which will slow down the emerald ash borer and delay the tree's death, but it will not prevent the tree from dying.
4) Safety: Manage your ash trees as they die so no one gets hurt.  When an Ash Tree starts dying, it can become dry quickly and quite brittle leading to a loss of large limbs or even the tree itself falling over.  Large falling tree limbs can be dangerous so it is important to be careful.  Recently, when I was going door-to-door in River Heights a large limb fell very close to me.  Luckily it was a calm day so I heard the tree cracking and moved quickly away from the tree so the limb did not fall on top of me.
Ash trees are amazing.   Gerry Engel said the ones on Ash Street were likely planted in the 1940s - some 70 to 80 years ago.   They are now tall and provide shade and a beautiful canopy for people living on, or walking or driving down, Ash Street.   Having campaigned in many areas of Winnipeg, I know from first hand experience how nice it is to have these shade trees on a hot day.
Gerry Engel is cutting the band to put on the Ash Tree to launch Emerald Ash Borer Preparedness Week.
The bands being put around the Ash trees are for awareness purposes so that more people can be aware of our Ash trees and develop a plan.   It is not certain how quickly the emerald ash borer will spread in our climate, but in other cities, they have found that they have lost up to 99% of their Ash trees in two to ten years.   


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