Emerald Ash Borer in Quebec
In the province of Quebec, the emerald ash borer (EAB) would have been identified for the first time by an arborist from the City of Montreal who had received training about this pest. Its presence was first confirmed in the village of Carignan in 2008. In 2009, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer in Gatineau, while some adult insects have found themselves in sticky traps installed in the southern portion of the city. The insect quickly gained ground in the Outaouais region since it was discovered in Chelsea, L’Ange-Gardien and the MRC of Papineau in 2012 and the MRC of Pontiac and the municipality of Wakefield in 2013.
In Montreal, the installation of sticky traps has led to the first insect being detected in 2011. In the following months, the methodology used (consisting of debarking branches on hundreds of ash trees) has resulted in the detection of the pest in a few different places in the boroughs of Ahuntsic-Cartierville and Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. In 2012, a major source of infestation is discovered by the simultaneous death of many ash trees in Hampstead and the presence of the insect was confirmed in Laval and Longueuil. In 2013, its presence was also confirmed in several municipalities of the region, including Terrebonne, Boisbriand, La Prairie, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Ste-Julie, St-Bruno-de-Montarville and Mont-St-Hilaire. An important source of infestation is discovered in early summer in St-Lambert, while the ash dieback becomes evident near Durocher College. In 2014, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) expanded the restricted area and reduced surveillance efforts, which lead to less numerous reports of new screening. However, ash mortality became apparent in several areas, including Laval, Chambly, St-Basile-le-grand and several Montreal boroughs. In the Outaouais area, the City of Gatineau and arboriculture companies are overwhelmed by the amount of dead ash trees to be felled, which exceeds the thousands by combining public and private lands. All ash trees located south of the province of Quebec will eventually be infested and will decline completely unless treated with insecticide.
If you have ash trees and you want to keep them, you must treat them as soon as possible. The trees should be vigorous enough to overcome the infestation and stay healthy during the passage of infestation front. The emerald ash borer is possibly already in your locality without the municipal authorities being aware of the situation. Feel free to share your concern with your municipal elected representative so that the EAB is detected as hastily as possible. Knowledge of its progress is crucial to enable the treatment and conservation of trees.