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Beetle infestation prompts cull of ash trees in Thunder Bay

By Adam Riley Mar 20, 2024 | 10:55 AM

The emerald ash borer, a highly destructive invasive beetle, was first confirmed in Canada in 2002. (Submitted/Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

The discovery of an invasive beetle will force the removal of 100 tress along a south side trail.

The emerald ash borer has been found in small to mid-size trees on Woodward Trail – which runs between James Street South and Neebing Avenue.

It arrived in Canada in 2002 and was first confirmed to be in Thunder Bay in 2016, with a strategy in place since then to address the beetles.

This includes monitoring all ash trees maintained by the city, which is 25 per cent of total city maintained trees, and monitoring their progression with pheromone trapping as well injections and strategic removals.

In a post to constituents on social media, Westfort Councillor Kristen Oliver stressed the importance and urgency of the removal.

β€œIt is imperative that we eliminate these trees during cooler temperatures before the insect emerges.”

According to Natural Resources Canada once the emerald ash borer arrives in an area 99 per cent of ash trees are killed within a decade.

Work began in January to remove the trees along Woodward Trail, as well as on streets in the area as the beetle has spread to there.

Most of that work has been completed with just a few stumps left to be cleared out.

Later this spring one of two Arbor-Day events hosted by the City of Thunder Bay will see approximately 100 new trees planted in the area to replace those lost.