SNC and City of Ottawa partner to combat Emerald Ash Borer through Ash Tree Replacement Program

Above, (pictured left) S-shaped gallery used by the Emerald Ash Borer, a sign of infection. (Pictured right) The Emerald Ash Borer, a beetle native to Asia that feeds on North American ash trees. Courtesy photos

OTTAWA — A partnership between South Nation Conservation (SNC) and the City of Ottawa is working to curb the spread of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer across Canada’s Capital through the Ash Tree Replacement Program. 

Through the program, City of Ottawa property owners could be eligible to receive up to $500 in cost-share funding towards the removal and replacement of an infected ash tree on their property, up to a maximum of $5,000 per landowner. The City of Ottawa funding is limited to a first-come, first-serve basis. 

The Ash Tree Replacement Program returns in 2019 following a successful pilot in which 469 ash trees infected by the Emerald Ash Borer were replaced with locally sourced trees on private properties across rural and urban Ottawa. 

“We are happy to be partnering with the City to continue offering the Ash Tree Replacement Program to residents in Ottawa affected by the Emerald Ash Borer,” said Ronda Boutz, SNC’s Team Lead of Special Projects. 

First discovered in Ontario in 2002, the Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive beetle native to Asia that feeds on North American ash trees, thought to have been shipped in untreated wooden packaging materials.

The beetle has since killed millions of ash trees across Canada and continues to spread to new areas, posing major environmental and economic threats to urban and forested areas.

“Forests and trees offer many social, economic and environmental benefits to communities,” added Boutz. “We’re doing our part to support communities replace infected trees and lost tree canopy.” 

Boutz also warns of the dangers that dead ash trees can pose when still standing in residential or public spaces. 

“They could fall down onto structures and homes, which can be hazardous to people and property,” added Boutz. “But the residents in Ottawa have shown to be both passionate about protecting their property and the environment which is very encouraging.” 

To qualify for funding, a licensed forestry professional or certified arborist must confirm the tree’s infection and perform any work related to its removal.

Residents may choose their replacement trees so long as they are native species of either potted stock or caliper-sized, and they must be planted on the applicant’s private property.

“SNC will continue to work with its member municipalities to conserve our forests by fighting the spread of invasive species that threaten our natural ecosystems.”

For more information on the Ash Tree Replacement Program and to access the application form, please visit www.nation.on.ca/eab, or call 1-877-984-2948, ext. 286.

SNC is working in partnership with the City of Ottawa on behalf of the Ottawa Conservation Partners: the Mississippi Valley, Rideau Valley, and South Nation Conservation Authorities.

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