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.
To help you identify ash trees and the signs and symptoms of EAB, visit:
- Information About the Emerald Ash Borer (from yourLEAF.org)
Or view this video:
If you have an ash tree on your property, contact an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist to assess your tree’s health as soon as possible. If your tree is healthy, insecticides are available that can help protect it from EAB. Tree care professionals can remove infested trees before they become a hazard to your safety or property. If you have to remove your tree call your local city or town first to find out if a permit is required.
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 Forests Ontario to determine the best way to manage the impacts of EAB while ensuring your woodlot stays healthy and diverse.
If you own two or more acres of property in York Region and would like to plant trees, visit our Tree Planting Programs page for information.
Frequently Asked Questions
I think the ash tree on my street is infected with Emerald ash borer, who should I contact?
Your city or town manages street trees on local roads (your neighbourhood roads). York Region manages select street trees on Regional roads – main roadways that connect our nine local cities and towns to one another (i.e. Yonge Street, Dufferin Street, Highway 7 and Major Mackenzie).
What is the difference between a Regional road and a local road?
Regional roads are typically the main arterial roadways that connect our nine local municipalities to one another. They are operated and maintained by The Regional Municipality of York. Each is identified by a numbered Regional road sign. Local roads are operated and maintained by local cities and towns.
What if I have a large lot and want to plant trees?
If you own two or more acres of property in York Region, we can help you add trees to your large property through the Grow Your Legacy program. Through this full-service program, we will help you plan for and plant trees, help you tend to your growing forest and arrange funding for up to 90 percent of the cost.
Visit our Tree Planting Programs page for more information about this program.
How do I go about applying an insecticide to my ash tree?
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.
What should I do if my ash tree is infested?
If your ash tree is infested with EAB it should be removed as soon as possible. Once the tree dies, it quickly becomes brittle and can damage your or a neighbour’s property. 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.
Can I use the wood from my ash tree as firewood?
To help slow the spread of EAB and prevent the introduction of other invasive insects to new areas, be sure never to move firewood, wood waste or nursery stock. The larvae of Emerald ash borer and other insects can travel in firewood, nursery stock and wood waste like cut-up branches and stumps.
What is York Region doing about Emerald Ash Borer?
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 hazardous 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 the impacts of Emerald Ash Borer
- Natural Resources Canada - Emerald Ash Borer
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency - Emerald Ash Borer
- CFIA Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine Area
- Download a 3D Asian long-horned beetle do-it-yourself paper model
- Environment Resources
- Finding a Forestry Consultant
- Finding an ISA Certified Arborist
- Grow Me Instead Guide
- LEAF Backyard Tree Planting Program in York Region
- Look Before You Leave Campaign
- Report Invasive Species