Wasps tackling Emerald Ash Borer; strategy to be discussed March 7

CORNWALL — The River Institute’s Science and Nature on Tap at Schnitzels will tackle the subject of Ash Trees and the invasive species devastating local trees and woodlots.

A special panel of regional forestry experts — Chris Craig (South Nation Conservation), Scott Porter (City of Cornwall), and Normand Genier (Raisin Region Conservation Authority – RRCA) will take on the Emerald Ash Borer and the different methods being used to combat this destructive intruder.

The panel will present the latest information on a multi-faceted strategy to help preserve as many ash trees as possible from the destructive and invasive insect. Ash trees make up a significant percentage of Eastern Ontario’s forests, with the black ash species used by Mohawk basket makers for centuries.

Chris Craig from South Nation Conservation (SNC) will speak on how the watershed authority is unleashing one insect against another. They are using two-types of parasitic wasps, harmless to humans, to attack the borer before it emerges. Craig will discuss the rationale behind this approach, its uses in the past, and how this protocol is currently working in Eastern Ontario woodlots. “Invasive species management actions such as these help us to protect the natural balance of ecosystems and biodiversity within our region,” says Craig.

Municipal Parks and Arborist Supervisor Scott Porter will discuss Cornwall’s strategy to treat, remove, and replace the city’s ash trees and offer advice to homeowners who currently have an ash tree on their property. Porter says, “the entire city is infested with the borer and a management plan is already in place to replace infected trees. He adds, “Approximately 30 to 35 percent of the trees in the city are ash, which is a very significant number. If we were to lose all of these ash trees in the next year or so, our tree canopy would be extremely low.”

He will be joined by Normand Genier who will offer alternative planting ideas for woodlot and city home­ owners through RRCA’s popular Tree Seedling  Program. This program provides residents in the RRCA watershed an opportunity to acquire native tree and shrub seedlings grown from seeds that have been collected locally.

The March 7 sessions at Schnitzels European Flavours are free but seating is limited. Reserve a seat by calling (613) 936-6620 (229) or e-mailing Karen Cooper at the River Institute kcooper@riverinstitute.caThe event begins at 7 p.m.


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