Emerald Ash Borer Beetle

What Ontario property owners need to know…

When it comes to tree care in Southern Ontario, one of the most pervasive threats is the Agrilus Planipennis, or Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a tiny green beetle that wreaks havoc with Ontario’s ash trees.

Originally sighted in Ontario in the early 2000s, EAB has spread rapidly and is now considered a significant threat to ash trees throughout the province.

Ash trees are a popular choice of many landscapers and homeowners for their lush greenery. The ash tree can grow to tremendous heights – and that’s what makes the EAB a threat to our communities.

The EAB will silently and secretly burrow its way under the bark of the tree, blocking the tree’s natural ability to draw up water. By the time the signs of their damage is obvious, it’s already too late to save the tree. As the large ash trees are killed by the invading beetle, their dead branches become a threat to property and people, making their removal a high priority.

Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I tell if my tree is infested by the EAB?

The beetles aren’t easy to spot, and since they do their damage under the bark, the first sign of trouble is usually dead branches or whole trees. You might find some “D-shaped” exit holes in the bark of your tree, or ragged leaves from feeding. These are clear indicators that the EAB is present, and a certified arborist can confirm your suspicions. If you do come across the beetle, it will be distinctly noticeable because of its bright, emerald green colour.

For tips and images to help you, visit the Town of Richmond Hill

Whose responsibility is the removal of a dead tree?

Property owners are responsible for the removal of a dead tree on their property. To confirm that the tree should be removed, contact a certified arborist, such as . The arborist will make a diagnosis and advise you of your options. Ash trees on public property are the responsibility of the Town.

Do I need a special permit to have an affected ash tree removed?

No. Since the dead trees pose a threat to people and property, local guidelines encourage their removal sooner than later, and no special permit is required.

Can I cut my tree down myself?

Tree removal can be extremely dangerous, especially when the tree is dead. In the case of ash trees, which are dense hardwood, they are also extremely large and heavy, posing further danger to those on the job. A trained professional arborist will climb the tree, using special safety equipment, rope portions of the branches and remove them individually, to mitigate the risk of damage. Also, a professional tree services company will be fully licenced and insured against injury or damage to your property, or that of a neighbour, further protecting you if something should happen.


What happens after the tree is removed?

Once the tree is safely felled, a professional tree services company will chip the branches and clean up the mess, reducing the inconvenience to you and your neighbours. They will also provide you with an optional stump grinding service to remove the unsightly stump, and make way for landscaping options to replace your lost tree.

Can EAB spread to other trees on my property?

EAB is a threat to ash trees only and it is expected to affect all Ontario’s ash trees in the next few years. It won’t spread to other types of trees on your property, but if you have other ash trees, they should also be inspected for the beetle’s presence.

Still have questions?

Call ECOGREEN Tree Services and Landscape Construction – 905.884.6089
with all your tree care and property beautification questions. Our estimates are free, and we’re here to help!

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