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Emerald Ash Borer

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive insect that kills ash trees in as little as two years. All ash trees in York Region will die unless they are protected with an insecticide administered by a tree care professional. Emerald ash borer was first found in Canada in 2002 and has since spread throughout southern Ontario, including York Region.

Emerald Ash Borer insect and ash trees


How to identify ash trees and emerald ash borer

For information to help you identify ash trees and the signs and symptoms of EAB, please visit:

Or view this instructional video:


Don’t Move Firewood

The larvae of emerald ash borer and other insects can travel in firewood, nursery stock and wood waste like cut-up branches and stumps.

Be sure never to move firewood, wood waste or nursery stock to help slow the spread of EAB and prevent the introduction of other invasive insects to new areas.


Information for Urban Residents

If you have an ash tree on your property, contact an ISA Certified Arborist to assess your tree’s health as soon as possible. If your tree is healthy, insecticides are available that can protect it from EAB. If your tree is infested, a tree care professional can remove it before it becomes a hazard to your safety or property.

If you have to remove your tree call your local municipality first to find out if a permit is required. You may wish to consider planting a new tree in its place. York Region offers a subsidized Backyard Tree Planting Program to residents through the non-profit organization LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests). Find out more on the Tree Planting Programs page.

Insecticide treatment

Insecticide treatments can only be administered by tree care professionals and are not available to the general public. The insecticide is injected into the tree using pressurized canisters. It must be applied at least every two years, and every year when EAB infestation pressure is high (many trees nearby are infested).

Insecticide treatments work best if trees are treated before they are infested or when the infestation is at an early stage. Signs or symptoms of EAB infestation are often not visible until it’s too late to apply insecticide.

Tree removal and wood utilization

Don’t wait to remove an infested ash tree – once it dies, it quickly becomes brittle and can damage your or a neighbour’s property.

Consider turning the wood from your ash tree into furniture or art for your home or yard. For contacts and information, download LEAF’s directory of urban wood products and services.

Many tree care companies will remove downed wood for you, but you can also drop off ash wood waste at the Georgina Transfer Station and Household Hazardous waste drop-off depot.

For more information on insecticide treatment, tree removal and how to hire an arborist, download What You Need to Know about Emerald Ash Borer.


Information for Woodlot Owners

If you are a landowner in York Region and have ash trees in your woodlot, visit the Forests Ontario website to determine the best way to manage the impacts of EAB while ensuring your woodlot stays healthy and diverse.

If you plan to remove trees remember, to apply for a permit under the Forest Conservation Bylaw.


York Region Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan

York Region’s Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan outlines actions to prevent the loss of tree canopy, educate residents and protect biodiversity. The plan includes:

  • Monitoring the spread of EAB
  • Removing and replacing ash trees on Regional roads
  • Removing hazard trees along trails in the York Regional Forest
  • Protecting some large, valuable trees on Regional Roads and in the York Regional Forest with insecticide
  • Coordinating an emerald ash borer technical working group with local municipalities, agencies and conservation authorities
  • Educating residents about EAB’s impacts




Related Resources

External Links

Invasive Plants and Species Links


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