Cull infected ash trees instead of treating them | guelph mercury

Cull infected ash trees instead of treating them


Re:Pesky ash borerposes big challenge for Guelph — Oct. 10

I have concerns regarding a proposal by city council to treat ash trees with injected insecticide to control emerald ash borer in Guelph.

The emerald ash borer is a problem that will likely never go away.

At this point, there are no natural predators or parasites that can control the population. Finding natural controls will be very difficult, if not impossible. Insecticidal treatments of individual trees will have to be repeated on a cyclical basis for a long time. The borer will eventually develop resistance to the insecticide and, if an alternative insecticide cannot be found, will continue to attack ash trees until they are wiped out.

Years ago, injected fungicides were used to treat elm trees infected with Dutch elm disease (an insect-borne disease). These attempts were futile.

Under these circumstances, a prudent management option is to cull infected trees and replace them with another species.

Hardwoods have limited life spans and naturally die of old age. This is well known to foresters. City trees should be managed like any other hardwood stand. Other communities with this problem (e.g. Toronto) have elected to cull infected trees rather than treat them.

Furthermore, insecticides are not supposed to be used in the city. That was the purpose of the city’s pesticides ban that was superseded by a provincewide urban pesticides ban.

I do not support spending taxpayers’ money on the insecticidal treatment of ash trees in Guelph. If Guelphites knew the truth about this proposal, I am sure most would agree with my position.

Norm Bazinet


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