Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer in Northumberland

Tree showing EAB damage

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive species found in Northumberland County.

Invasive Species are organisms (plant, animal, fungus or bacterium) that are not native to a region and have negative effects its economy, environment or public health.

What is the EAB?

The EAB is an invasive insect that bores holes in ash trees and kills them within two years. The larvae feed on the inner bark of the tree, removing the bark and disrupting the flow of nutrients. This results in the death of the tree by girdling.

EAB was first located in Michigan in 2002. It has now spread throughout Ontario, Quebec and the eastern United States. The insect can travel short distances through flight but primarily moves through human assistance (firewood, nursery stock and wood products).

What we are doing about EAB

Our Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan outlines actions to reduce the financial, environmental and public safety impacts associated with EAB.

We are responsible for treating or removing and replacing ash trees located on County roads and other County-owned properties. Infected trees pose a hazard of falling due to weakened, damaged bark. In 2016, we inventoried all ash trees along County roads and on County properties. The scheduled removal of these ash trees began in 2018. 

How many trees are being removed in my area?

Please review our map, which outlines the number of ash trees to be removed by section of road.

When will trees be removed in my municipality?

Crews began removing hazardous trees from County roads in the Town of Cobourg and the Township of Hamilton in the fall of 2018. Based on the progress made this year, timelines will be set for tree removal throughout the remainder of the county.

Will downed trees be replaced?

The County is partnering with the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) on a program to make saplings available to Northumberland residents to plant on their properties, at no cost. This program will subsidize 12,000 trees annually (60,000 trees overall), or approximately 10 replacement trees for every one tree being removed.

Applications to receive free saplings are available on the GRCA website. Trees will be distributed in the spring. 

Please note, the spring 2019 application process is now closed. The spring 2020 application process will open in December, 2019.

What to do if you have ash on your property

Property owners are responsible for maintaining, treating and removing ash trees (and any other trees) located on their property. Dead and dying trees are hazardous and must be removed.

Ask a professional arborist for:

  • Proof of liability insurance
  • Proof of WSIB
  • Certification in good standing with the International Society of Arboriculture

If you choose to treat your ash tree with insecticide, ask for a pesticide applicators license.

Before removing your tree, check to see if your municipality has a tree by-law in place.