June 8, 2018 3:17 pm
Updated: July 28, 2018 5:52 pm

Emerald ash borer control program begins in Winnipeg

The City of Winnipeg says only ash trees selected for treatment by the Urban Forestry Branch based on predetermined criteria will be treated.

Nikki Jhutti/Global News

On Monday, the city of Winnipeg will be rolling out its plan to help control the spread of the emerald ash borer.

The insect was first discovered in Winnipeg last fall but according to the city, the invasive species has the power to wipe out the entire ash tree population.

There are more than 356,000 ash trees in the city.  101,000 are on public property, on streets and in parks.  The remaining 256,000 are on private property.

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The program will run for the next six weeks and includes injecting 1,000 primarily green ash trees with an insecticide and the removal of 800 ash trees from boulevards and parks.

“We’re only injecting those trees that are good candidates, that are in very good to excellent condition,” Martha Barwinsky, with Urban Forestry Branch said.

READ MORE: City expects to spend $105 million to fight impact of emerald ash borer in Winnipeg

The trees slated for removal have been marked with a purple dot, those getting the treatment, with a grey one.

The city will also be monitoring the spread of the insects with traps.

“We will be installing approximately 200 traps across the city of Winnipeg,” Barwinsky explained.  “We’re monitoring for the adult beetles that will be flying around this time of year.”

Barwinsky added if the city chose to ignore the problem, it would lose a large percent of Winnipeg’s tree population.

“Ash makes up over 30 per cent of our canopy, so if you think just our trees on our streets and in parks, losing a third of that canopy has a significant impact on our communities, on our city, on our shade cover.”

READ MORE: Celebrating Winnipeg’s trees at Arbor Day

The City of Winnipeg’s Insect Control Branch will start its emerald ash borer control program on Monday.

Treatment will occur between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, weather permitting, and will occur regularly until July.

Many areas across the city will be receiving treatment, including Elmwood, Transcona, Downtown, Wolseley, Grant Park and Southdale.

According to the city, the products being used, “have been approved for use in Canada by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency, and will be used in accordance with federally approved label directions by licensed pesticide applicators.”

More information can be found here.

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