Waterloo wards 1 and 4 most at risk from Emerald ash borer

Over 200 ash trees had to be removed from Waterloo last year because of Emerald ash borer damage. The city says the majority of removed trees came from wards 1 and 4.
These small, emerald beetles are responsible for killing over 200 ash trees, according to Waterloo city officials. (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

Over 210 ash trees had to be removed from Waterloo last year because of Emerald ash borer damage, and the city says the small beetles are very active in wards 1 and 4. 

Tim Wolfe, the city's manager of forestry and environmental services, says there are over 1,200 trees in Ward 1, and the city had to remove 76 this year so far. 

"There's going to be a big increase in number in that area because the borer is quite prevalent in that area and is going to start to spread quite rapidly in that area in the next two to three years," said Wolfe.  

Wolfe says residents with ash trees on their property should keep an eye out for notices from the city. 

"If there's any concerns they should call the forestry department and even get informed on what's going on with their ash tree," said Wolfe. 

He adds the city is working to diversify its tree populations to avoid a repeat of this problem in the future. The city has budgeted about $3.6 million dollars for tree removal and tree replacement between 2015 and 2024. 

Last November, the Grand River Conservation Authority predicted the pests would cost them between $4 and $8 million dollars in damage over the next 10 years.