Thunder Bay

Secrets to managing emerald ash borer may come from Peterborough

If Thunder Bay can beat back the emerald Ash Borer, it may have the city of Peterborough to thank.

Peterborough's experience may be good news for Thunder Bay

The urban forester in Peterborough, Ont. says early treatment of trees against the emerald ash borer have been successful in managing the pest. (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

If Thunder Bay can contain the emerald ash borer, it may have the city of Peterborough to thank.

Paul Hambidge, Peterborough's urban forest specialist, said his city has been relatively successful in managing the emerald ash borer by treating trees early.

Peterborough began chemical treatments around the same time the invasive beetle was confirmed in the community, and the city appears to be escaping major damage to its street and urban park trees by the insect.

"We still don't have a tree killed outright by emerald ash borer," Hambidge said. "We found several infested ones which we've taken down and destroyed, and treated other healthy ones around them to try and slow the spread."

Hambidge said the biggest key to combating the ash borer is "buy in from everybody involved" — including city staff, council, the public and large private land owners.  

"If everybody can co-operate and work together," he said, "it actually can be very successful."

City staff in Thunder Bay are recommending treatment of eligible trees starting next year, and removal of others, as they show signs of infestation. City council is slated to receive and discuss the report Monday.

The ash borer was just confirmed in Thunder Bay late in June.

With files from Matt Prokopchuk. Edited/packaged by Casey Stranges

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