Fantastic news:  at least eight (update: 20!) of Trinity Bellwoods Park's 94 ash trees (Fraxinus) have been marked for possible innoculation against the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) which is devastating Ontario's ash trees. 

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Ash trees selected for treatment are marked with bright green labels

We're told that some of those marked, but not necessarily all (budget will dictate), will be injected with TreeAzin™ later this summer or early next.  The newly funded EAB unit at Parks is currently innoculating in more at-risk areas of the city.  TreeAzin™ is a Systemic Insecticide produced from extracts of Neem Tree seeds (Azadiracta indica), (but is not neem oil) which has been 95% successfull in making ash trees unattractive to the bug and therefore safe.  Each tree needs to be innoculated every two years until and if the EAB abates so it's abit of a time and $ commitment.

 

According to the Tree Audit which FoTBP commissioned in 2009 there were 812 trees in the park to which we add the 92 new saplings currently in the AAT program and the approximately dozen memorial trees planted and then subtract the trees which have toppled over due to age, been cut down due to disease or have died due to vandalism -- and we get about 900 trees currently in the park.  That means the ash currently make up over 10% of the trees in the park.  That little green bug's going to make a big dent in the canopy here.  (All the more reason to make sure those sapling trees in the Adopt A Tree program survive, yes?)

 

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I found eight trees marked -- if you find more please let us know!
UPDATE: two more in the Art Camp grounds, one more just south-west of the circle near the Greenhouse.  Total = 11

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Sadly, one of the biggest, healthiest ash trees marked for saving (you can see the little green tag under the arrow) had this wooden sign screwed into it by an unthinking park user in the past couple of days. Trees are pretty resilient but any hole through their bark provides a easy entry point for disease or bugs.  (Say, weren't we just speaking of bugs?)  And the thing about trees is there's no hurrying them.  It takes 30+ years to get this big.  And shady. 

We're told the EAB infestation will likely peak 2015-2017 when the bugs will have infested and killed most of the city's ash. Some will prove to be naturally resistent -- as a few hardy elm trees proved resistent to Dutch Elm disease -- but generally the only surviving examples of this beautiful native tree will be those regularly innoculated.  At this point it looks like Trinity Bellwoods Park will have (up to) eight examples of them -- another reason to love this park!

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Do you have an ash tree on your property? 

If it's a good size and not yet infested, consider innoculating it.  Treatment costs can often be less than the cost of removal of an infected tree and the time it takes to grow another to the same size.

Great resources here for further information:

- The city has a map of known EAB infestations.
- Comprehensive information from the city's Urban Forestry department
- LEAF (Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests) has lots of great info including a list of companies licensed to innoculate against EAB

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