Montreal, West Island collaborate against ash-killing bug

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Unknown-1.jpegBy Rhonda Massad

 

Montreal and West Island municipalities joined forces last week to inform the population about the insidious emerald ash borer (EAB) at a seminar was held at Beaconsfield High School, April 24.People came from as far as Montreal West to hear the speakers, who included Anouar Mestari of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, City of Montreal biologist and EAB expert Anthony Daniel and Beaconsfield Public Works director Andrew Duffield.The seminar was part of Montreal’s action plan to implement Slow Ash Mortality (SLAM) strategy.The strategy involves identifying infested trees, adopting a plan to remove and properly dispose of the tree as well as treating the surrounding trees with TreeAzin, a pesticide.The prognosis is dismal, explained Daniel. The process must be administered professionally and costs up to $300 per tree per year for two years. The inoculation is not guaranteed to ward off the pest but it is the only preventative measure available at this time.According to Duffield, Montreal has been very proactive sharing their research and offering seminars for members of public works.Applying a SLAM approach will not eradicate EAB, nor will it eliminate tree mortality. Rather, the goal of this management strategy is to slow the local invasion process and allow land managers time to be proactive rather than simply reacting to overwhelming numbers of dead, often hazardous trees.““Ultimately all trees will die but we need to find a way to slow down the process so the trees die out more slowly,” he explained to the packed auditorium, ”this way we can ensure that there are trees in place to replace the ones that are dying.”The killer Asian insect was first detected on the island of Montreal three years ago and has already spread to hundreds of trees. Montreal has spent $3 million on the problem so far and plans to take action this spring to inoculate as many trees as possible.Slowing the movement of EAB and the advance of ash mortality also buys time for research and technology development. For more information on Montreal’s EAB action plan, visit ville.montreal.qc.ca

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