Saving Your Ash: Emerald Borers Threaten North American Ash Tree Populations

Picture by Don’t Move Firewood

Acting now can save your ash tree!

Behold the emerald ash borer; the diminutive little pest that has arborists in North America covering their ashes. The ash borer larva disrupt the flow of water and nutrients as they feed beneath the bark. Any tree infested will die in 2-3 years. In the city of Toronto, the ash borer has arrived with a vengeance and is currently threatening the city’s large ash population. If you have an ash tree in your yard that has been infected with ash borer, you have only weeks left to act before the end of the growing season.

Toronto will lose nearly all of its 860,000 ash trees by 2017 dealing a heavy blow to the urban forest. The city’s outlying regions containover 2 million ash trees that face a similar fate. Its not just Toronto that is affected by the ash borer, cities across North America are recording huge losses of ash trees as arborists scramble to collect seeds to ensure the survival of the species for future generations.

What you can do

You can save your own tree with an application of TreeAzin™, a toxic derivative of the neem tree that is injected into the base of the tree and kills ash borer larva. The process will need to be completed by a professional arborist. The city has been treating some of its ash trees and will be cutting down dead or dying ash trees in the coming years. These trees will be replaced where possible. Where trees are on private property, the cost of treatment will have to be borne by the homeowner, but is usually less than the cost of having the tree removed when it dies. If you are concerned about your ash tree, contact your local municipality for a list of certified arborists and other information pertaining to the removal of ash trees.

Save our Ash

You can help to alert homeowners of the threat posed by the ash borer. If you would like to volunteer, contact an organization in your area. If you live in the Greater Toronto Area, contact to volunteer and help spread the word so that as many ash trees can be saved as possible. Speak to your neighbors and friends about the ash tree to ensure that those who have ash trees in their yards act now to save them from the emerald ash borer.

Don’t know if you have an ash tree? You can help identify ash trees in your area by following the link here or watch the video.

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Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

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