Councillor angered with handling of Ash Borers

Nick Seebruch
Councillor angered with handling of Ash Borers
An emerald ash borer.

CORNWALL, Ontario – Councillor Andre Rivette expressed his frustration during a meeting of City Council on Tuesday, Aug. 22.

The point of contention was with how city administration was executing council’s directives to deal the Emerald Ash Borer, an insect that kills ash trees.

It was Councillor Rivette’s impression that council had directed administration to treat the trees with a chemical to deter the ash borer and remove trees only when it was necessary. He said however, that he had received complaints from residents of Nick Kaneb Dr. that their trees, which had been treated by the city were clear cut anyway. Those trees also have yet to be re-planted.

“We cut trees that could have been saved,” he said. “There was no attempt to save those trees. This is the kind of things that frustrates the hell out of me.”

Jamie Fawthrop, Division Manager for Parks and Recreation said that administration was not intentionally deviating from the directives of council.

“It is our interpretation that we are following the plan,” he said. “The trees that were removed were infected.”

Fawthrop went on to explain that from administration’s perspective all ash trees will have to be removed and that treatment will not save the trees.

“We could treat for decades,” he said, explaining that it was not a cost effective option.

“We’re seeing trees really start dying fast,” said the City’s Arborist Scott Porter.

Porter pointed to the group of trees near the Ramada Inn, most of which were healthy last year, but have since been killed off by the Ash Borer.

Porter assured council that a re-planting program will be getting under way in the fall.  He said that 1, 000 trees will be planted this year to replace the 784 that have been removed.

Rivette, for his part, objected to the fact that administration did not try to save treated trees, which he felt was council’s directive.

He explained that he had told residents of Nick Kaneb that their treated trees would not be removed and was unhappy that his word to them was contradicted.

“If I’m not being told the right information, I’m gonna be pissed,” he said.

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