Protect your community's trees from Emerald Ash Borer

An insidious pest is slowly but steadily making its way west across Canada, threatening the health and longevity of ash trees in Alberta.

The Emerald Ash Borer is a bright green beetle that is 8 to 14 mm long, and 3 to 3.5 mm wide. This invasive species can kill ash trees within six years of a population establishing itself. The Emerald Ash Borer is particularly damaging to ash trees as it has no natural predators in Canada to slow its spread. It was first identified in Canada in the early 2000s in Ontario, where it likely arrived in wood products shipped from Asia. Populations have become established in parts of Ontario, Manitoba (Winnipeg) and British Columbia (Vancouver).

Many municipalities use ash trees to line boulevards, so communities need to be on the lookout for this pesky little beetle. The following actions can be taken to combat the spread of this insect:

  • Branch sampling. Trimming branches of ash trees and visually inspecting them for signs of Emerald Ash Borer activity or live insects.
  • Setting traps. Traps can be set to determine if the beetles are present in stands of ash trees. If detected, mediation can be attempted. Traps should be set as high in the tree as is possible to have the best chance of attracting the insect.
  • Scanning. Have contractors or municipal employees keep an eye out for the insect when they are doing tree trimming and maintenance.
  •  Public awareness campaigns. Educate residents on the appearance and signs of Emerald Ash Borer so they can report activity to the municipality.
  • Plant other species of tree. Ash are not native to many areas of Alberta. A different species that does not provide a habitat for the Emerald Ash Borer should be selected to help prevent spread.

Left unchecked, this invasive species could destroy most of the ash trees in Alberta. For more information please send an advocacy [at] (email) to ABmunis’ Advocacy team.