By Kevin Woodhouse
Shareholders of the biopesticide TreeAzin will have reason to celebrate following the city of Beaconsfield’s recent implementation of its action plan to combat the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a cost to the city of about $320,000 every year for treatment of its ash trees within Beaconsfield’s territory.
Of the city’s 11,000 ash trees, about 8,000 are on private residences making up 35 per cent of Beaconsfield homeowners who will be asked to treat any ash trees if an infestation occurs within 100 metres of said trees.
The city’s choice to be proactive in the fight against the EAB through treatment of TreeAzin, a process required every two years in order to deter propagation and eventual loss of the tree, is to maintain Beaconsfield’s lush tree canopy.
And while the projected cost to treat the city’s 3,000-odd ash trees over the next 20 years is at around $6.4 million, director general Patrice Boileau told The Suburban that the cost of replacing and cutting down infected trees would be decidedly more.
“My understanding is that TreeAzin is not 100 percent effective but the city of Oakville, after four years of using the biopesticide, had a 90 percent success rate,” said Boileau.
Other initiatives from the city include planting new trees every year, about 35 different species for biodiversity, cutting down ash trees smaller than 15 cm diametre, releasing a call for tenders of TreeAzin suppliers in order to get a discount for residents and the city.
When asked if there was any backlash from citizens on the issue, Boileau noted that most calls were from residents wanting to take a proactive approach and acquire the biopesticide to begin treatment on their own ash trees.
With the rise of EAB, Boileau is hopeful that within the next few years, new technologies or products can be used that could “be newer and cheaper strategies to combat the EAB.
“Bugs do not respect borders and we know it is only a matter of time before they come to Beaconsfield which is why we are taking a proactive approach now,” the director general said.
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