Emerald Ash Borer in Wellington County

A few years ago the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed the presence of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in the Township of Puslinch. The infestation has continued to spread and intensify across our County.

Experts have estimated that almost all of the Ash trees will be killed as the wave of EAB passes through over the next decade. Some estimates are as high as 98% to 99% mortality.

It is possible to protect trees with an inoculation. However, this is costly and must be repeated after a certain number of years. It is likely that this treatment will only be used on large specimens which have heritage values.

The most immediate problem is in our urban areas. Once dead the Ash trees become unstable fairly quickly, creating a hazard. The trees will need to be removed, which will be a costly enterprise over a number of years. Local municipalities will need to develop a plan to deal with the problem, and  budget for this expense. Currently, there are no provincial or federal programmes to offset costs.

In 2014 the County hosted an EAB workshop for local municipal, public works staffs. Forester Peter Williams provided an overview on the EAB as well as possible ways of dealing with it.

In our rural forests, up to 30% of the trees may be Ash in places. Their loss will result in a significant impact on our forest lands. Landowners are encouraged to manage the decline, marketing the trees while still of value. Replacement trees of the appropriate species should be replanted in the remaining forest.

Wellington County's Green Legacy Programme will be able to assist replanting where needed:

  • Nursery stock in rural areas
  • Larger potted stock in urban areas

The following links may be of some interest:


Emerald Ash Borer