Do Albertans Need to Worry About the Emerald Ash Borer Beetle?

By: albertaarb - April 24, 2017

Did you know that 99% or more per cent of ash trees are killed within the first few years of coming into contact with the dreaded emerald ash borer beetle?

This pest is absolutely devastating and has destroyed countless trees. Canadian Forest Service (CFS) scientists estimate that costs for treatment, removal and replacement of trees affected by emerald ash borer in Canadian is 2 billion dollars after 30 years. The beetle tends to stay close to where it was born and we’ve really only seen it infect Ontario in a major way. We’ve seen big outbreaks in areas like Thunder Bay, Hamilton and Ottawa.

Is the Emerald Ash Borer Beetle a Threat to Alberta?

Something this dangerous is always a threat. But there have really been no reported issues you need to worry about... Yet. The City of Edmonton takes this threat very seriously and provides a page on their website to raise awareness of the threat, while giving people a way to report sightings. Prevention and early measures are crucial, as we don’t want to see the problems that other areas have seen.

In Ottawa, 15,000 dead or dying ash trees have been infested with the emerald ash borer since 2009. And in 2015 alone, Hamilton lost nearly 10,000 trees to the emerald ash borer.

Why is the Emerald Ash Borer Beetle Such a Problem

The first problem is it’s nearly unstoppable once it enters an area and kills every tree it infects. Recently, officials have taken a holistic approach to ridding their areas of this menace by rearing and introducing a wasp into the infected regions. The wasp species only likes to lay its eggs in the larvae of the emerald ash borer beetles. But part of the danger has actually been man-made.

A large part of the issue had to do with unlicensed arborists removing the dead or dying trees, because of the sheer number of people who needed these trees removed. This forced a large number of dangerous and uncertified people trying to remove these trees. As a result, In the past four years, nine people have been killed and 67 critically injured while working on trees in Ontario, according to the Ministry of Labour.

While you may think it’s somebody’s own business if they decide to take a chainsaw and pass themselves off as an arborist. But what you may not realize is that homeowners who hire non-certified arborists open themselves up to legal problems if that worker is injured on their property.

What Do You Do if You Think You Have an Emerald Ash Borer Beetle

Do not hesitate. For the good of your entire ecosystem, please call a trained professional if you think any of your trees have been infected. They will decide what to do from there.

At Alberta Arborists, we have helped countless people get rid of trees safely and efficiently, and we can help you, too.

Our highly experienced arborists are trained to deal with any tree removal in any location and can ensure no damage is done to your property. Click here to contact us or call the number at the top of the page for a free, no-obligation estimate of your job.

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