Emerald Ash Borer Presence Confirmed in All Sectors of Beaconsfield

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Tree Azin Beaconsfield EAB Emerald Ash Borer
Despite warnings by Health Canada not to leave TreeAzin applicator injectors unattended, some were detected in Beaconsfield in July.

by Rhonda Massad

In a recent press release the city of  Beaconsfield confirmed that there is not a sector of the city that has not be touched by the insidious emerald ash borer (EAB) that plagues North America.  The insect that originates in Asia has no natural predators and is reeking havoc on tree canopies everywhere.  Tragically, Beaconsfield is no exception.

According to the release, the city of Beaconsfield would like to remind residents that there is still time to take advantage of the municipal action plan to fight the spread of the emerald ash borer in order to protect the quality of their environment, the urban canopy and property values.

Trees need to be treated every two years with TreeAzin, an insecticide that must be applied by certified experts. Citizens are strongly encouraged to make their request to the city. For 2015, requests must be made before Friday, August 7.

Ash trees form a significant presence in Beaconsfield’s urban forest. They number in excess of 11,000, including more than 8,000 on private land. The City has begun treating its own trees and has set up a specially priced treatment program of $4.07/cm of diameter to help property owners. For example, it will cost $170.94 every second year for treating a medium- sized tree of 42 cm in diameter. In the interest of saving trees and preventing the spread of the emerald ash borer, the city is also making it easier to have a felling permit issued for affected trees during visits from inspectors.

According Jason Gasparetto, technical specialist at BioForest producer of TreeAzin, unlike chemical insecticides, it works on the insect’s hormonal system, not on the digestive or nervous system and does not lead to development of resistance in future generations. TreeAzin is a systemic insecticide, therefore is not sprayed like some insecticides but injected directly into the sapwood. The pesticide is non-discriminatory, meaning it will eradicate all insects in the trees not just the EAB.

“In my opinion the residue left behind from the injection of several hundred thousand trees on the island of Montreal would not be significant to harm a human,” Gasparetto explained in an interview with The Suburban, “testing has shown that to harm a human it would take up to two litres to cause any damage.”

According to Gasparetto this pesticide is deemed a class four or least harmful by the Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), responsible for pesticide regulation in Canada.

“The product was put through the ringer before being graded a class four which is the least harmful of the pesticides,” he continued,” but that is like saying you as a human are least harmful because you have never been charged with a crime, they are all horrible and this is the least horrible.”

To accentuate the difficult position municipalities are facing across the country, Serge Lussier, Associate-Director and Academic Adviser of the Farm Management and Technology Program at Macdonald Campus of McGill University weighed in during an email exchange with The Suburban.

“No solution is without risk or potential adverse effects but Treeazin has been deemed by the PMRA to be a low risk pesticide when applied according to the label,” Lussier explained, ”moreover, the only other solution currently available seems to be the widespread removal of the trees and their eventual replacement with other species, an unacceptable alternative as far as I am concerned.”

For further information, please contact the City of Beaconsfield at 514 428-4430 or consult the city website at www.beaconsfield.ca

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