City begins fight to save thousands of ash trees with injections to combat emerald ash borer
Strategy includes injecting 1,000 ash trees starting Monday, as well as removing up to 800
The City of Winnipeg is launching its campaign against the emerald ash borer on Monday, weather permitting.
This is the first time the city has treated trees for the invasive beetle since city officials determined the ash borer was in Winnipeg last November.
The city will inject trees with utilizing the insecticides IMA-jet or TreeAzin, a vaccine-like injectable.
Part of the strategy includes injecting 1,000 ash trees on boulevards and parks, as well as removing up to 800 trees. The city will also place up to 200 traps to monitor for adult beetles.
The city has more than 350,000 ash trees, and about 100,000 of those are on public property. The emerald ash borer management program will be limited to trees on public property.
"We will be developing resources and some kind of support for private property owners so they are aware of the problem and they learn how they can manage the ash trees on their private properties," said Martha Barwinski, with the urban forestry branch.
Emerald ash borers were first detected in Detroit and Windsor, Ont., in 2002, and have been gradually moving west.
Last December, Barwinsky said Winnipeg is at risk of losing all of its 350,000 green ash trees within the next decade.
The city's strategy is expected to cost $1.3 million in the first year.
The city has established strict criteria for which trees will receive injections, Barwinski said.
"It costs money to inject trees. It is a long-term commitment as well because those trees have to be injected every two years for the amount of time that we want to preserve those trees, to protect them from emerald ash borer," she said.
Trees that are not selected for injection should be removed sooner rather than later, Barwinski said, because once a tree dies from emerald ash borer infestation it becomes a safety hazard.
"Trees that have been killed by emerald ash borer, within two years fall over. They start failing, they start dropping large limbs, and for an arborist removing those trees, the trees are unpredictable."
Tree injections cost on average between $200-$300 for a single treatment.
Treatment will occur between 6:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, weather permitting.
You can see a full list of areas that will be treated on the city's website.