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Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive insect that uses ash trees as their primary food source and habitat. The EAB is best known for the unique pattern it leaves behind which has been decimating the Ontario ash tree population since 2003.

It is recommended that the ideal tree canopy for urban areas is between 30-40%. Based on a South Nation Conservation Authority 2016 report on Forest Cover, South Dundas currently has a total forest cover (including rural areas) of 31.5%, and saw a decrease in tree canopy between 2008-2014 by 4.1%. Of the forest cover 91% of it was located in treed lots, 3% in plantation farms, and 6% in hedgerows. It is estimated that 30% of South Dundas’ tree canopy is comprised of ash trees.

Even with the effective planning, implementation of control measures, and re-planting efforts, the Municipality’s forested landscapes will experience a dramatic change as a result of the ongoing invasion of this beetle. There is currently no pesticide or elimination method that has proven successful in the prevention or control of EAB. Through the implementation of specific actions outlined in the management plan, the Municipality will be better prepared to take effective efforts to minimize the risks, loss of benefits, and costs associated with EAB infestation.

Starting in May 2021

The Municipality currently has an EAB plan in place, the following are the steps to sustainably address the EAB in South Dundas from 2021 to 2028.

  1. Identify a significant ash tree and determine if the tree is infected with EAB.
  2. If infected, determine level of infection and rate as high, medium or low priority removal.
  3. High priority trees will be removed immediately, and wood chipped or burned. Once trees in an area are removed, high caliper trees will be planted in the same area as replacement.
  4. Medium and low priority removals will be identified for under canopy tree planting. These locations will receive a small slipper tree to grow underneath the ash tree, so when the tree is removed, another tree is existing and established in its place.

How does it impact residents and visitors?

Trees may be taken down in high-traffic public areas. From May to September, areas of parks or the waterfront may be closed. Use caution when in the area of tree cutting and follow all signage and directions from the Municipality.

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