Residents will have an opportunity to learn about the emerald ash borer and the steps the city is taking to prepare for its arrival during an upcoming open house.
The open house will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at the Benson Centre, with an afternoon session from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and an evening session from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Each session will start with a short presentation by Parks and Landscaping Supervisor Jim Althouse followed by a question and comment period with members in attendance.
Harri Liljalehto, a specialist in advising municipalities on how to plan and deal with emerald ash borer, will also be in attendance at the open house.
“We encourage everyone to attend one of the open house sessions to learn more about this important issue,” said Althouse.“The emerald ash borer will significantly impact the tree population in Cornwall.”
The emerald ash borer (also known as EAB) is a very destructive wood boring beetle which attacks and kills all native species of ash trees. The emerald ash borer does not pose a risk to human health.
EAB was first noted in North America in 2002 in Detroit, Michigan and shortly thereafter in Windsor, Ontario. The invasive beetle has since spread to other areas in Ontario, Quebec and the United States.
Its presence has been confirmed in Ottawa as well as Prescott-Russell and Leeds and Grenville Counties.
At this time, there are no confirmed reports of emerald ash borer in Cornwall or Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, however there is a strong likelihood that it will eventually appear in the area.
“In Cornwall, it’s estimated that native ash trees account for 25 to 30 per cent of the total tree population,” said Althouse. “Given the potential damage this pest may cause, we have already started planning for its arrival now.”
As part of that effort, city parks staff are monitoring the situation closely while also working to raise awareness about the threat posed by this invasive species.
A working sub-group of the Municipal Environmental Advisory Committee is working closely with City staff to assess all aspects of emerald ash borer control. Plans are also in the works to complete an inventory of all city-owned native ash trees.
Property owners are responsible for the care of trees on their own property. Some signs of infestation include:
• Presence of woodpeckers in winter and woodpecker holes
• Thinning crown / dying branches
• Reduced foliage density
• Shoots growing from the trunk or branches
• Deformed bark areas
• Vertical cracks on the trunk
• Small D-shaped emergence holes
• S-shaped tunnels under the bark filled with fine sawdust
• Evidence of adult feeding on leaves (beginning in late May)
If a resident sees signs that an ash tree on their property is dead or dying, they should contact a professional tree care company. For more information on the emerald ash borer, please visit the Environment section of the City website (www.Cornwall.ca).