Montreal

Dollard-des-Ormeaux fights back against emerald ash borer

Stéphanie Roy, the division head of public works for the West Island suburb, says city inspectors set traps and recently found four of the beetles.

Insect has been causing serious problems in Quebec since it was discovered on Montreal's South Shore in 2008

Dollard-des-Ormeaux is taking steps to combat emerald ash borer, the destructive beetle native to Asia and east Russia. (David Cappaert/Michigan State University)

The destructive emerald ash borer has munched its way into Dollard-des-Ormeaux.

Stéphanie Roy, the division head of public works for the West Island suburb, says city inspectors set traps and recently found four of the beetles.

Now, she says it is using a bio-insecticide to treat half of its trees.

"We know the treatment won't work on a tree if it already has a disease or something like that, so we have selected the trees that have the best survival rate," Roy said on Daybreak.

Native to Asia and east Russia, emerald ash borer made its first Canadian appearance in Ontario in 2002.

The insect has been causing serious problems in Quebec since it was discovered in Carignan, on Montreal's South Shore, in 2008.

Roy said residents in Dollard-des-Ormeaux have to do their part if they want to save the trees.

The city is inviting them to information sessions early next month to alert them to the problem.

Dollard-des-Ormeaux found emerald ash borer beetles on some of its trees. (Dollard-des-Ormeaux)
"We're inviting the people that do have ash trees in their backyard and we'll tell them, to cut a tree costs so much, and treating it costs basically the same amount, even though you have to do it every years," Roy said.

"So, the resident has to decide what's best for them, because really, a tree in the backyard provides a lot of benefits."

Meanwhile, the borough of Saint-Laurent has been dealing with the situation even longer.

Mayor Alan DeSousa has decided to treat all the ash trees there.

"We viewed it as an investment in the future, but there's no telling if we made the right decision because we have invested," DeSousa said. 

"We do have our trees inoculated, we haven't taken that many down, but will it pay off in the long run?" 

So far nearly 1,100 trees in Montreal have been cut down due to the infestation.

The City of Montreal is spending nearly $13 million to protect the remaining healthy trees and plant new ones.

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