Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

Like many municipalities throughout southern Ontario, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has reached Georgina and much of York Region. The EAB is a highly invasive insect that attacks and feeds on all species of ash trees, killing them within one to three years. Ash trees are widespread on public and private properties throughout Georgina, accounting for 19 per cent of the Town's current tree population. More information on the EAB threat is available through York Region.

Emerald Ash Borer advertorial - April 28, 2022

Tree removal project (2022-2024)

The Town of Georgina has been infested with the Emerald Ash Borer for a number of years and virtually all mature Ash trees have been affected. The Town has taken many preventative steps including creating an inventory of Ash trees, conducting regular health assessments, and performing thousands of removals of dead or dying trees. This tree removal program is now being expanded to accelerate the removals as a large portion of the inventory is becoming of higher risk. The new program will remove all affected trees on municipal property within the Town over a three-year period, 2022 to 2024, as approved by Council.

Where is the Town currently working to remove trees?

The Town has several phases of delivery within the EAB removal program.

  1. Phase 1 is complete. This phase included the removal of smaller, dense populations of ash trees that were previously queued for removal. These areas included Keswick, Willow Beach, De La Salle Park, Duclos Point Road, and Silverstone Crescent.
  2. Phase 2 is complete. This phase included larger ‘sweeping removals’ of entire areas. These areas included Pefferlaw, Marina Estates, Holmes Point, Riverview Beach, Lake Drive South, and Lake Drive East. Stumps will not be removed on the lake side of the road to reduce the potential for erosion; however, stumps will be removed on the land side of Lake Drive.
  3. Phase 3 has been ongoing since May of 2023 and is nearing completion. This phase includes the larger ‘sweeping removals’ of entire areas. Designated stumps will be removed, after the safe removal of a tree. Virginia and its surrounding areas, from Duclos Point Road to the east, Hadden Road and Dallas Street to the west, Lake Shore Road to the north, and Highway 48 to the south was the first area to have ash tree removals completed. A second sweep was done in the Mossington Park area, Jacksons Point, Franklin Beach, and Timberbank Square. All that remains from Phase 3 is the removal of ash trees in Sutton West and De La Salle Park, which are expected to be removed by the end of May 2024. 
  4. Phase 4 has been ongoing since January of 2024 and is nearing completion. This phase includes the removal of trees from Filey Beach, Willow Beach, Island Grove, and Roches Point. The majority of trees in those areas have been removed except for a few trees on Boyer’s Road and Deer Park Road. These trees are scheduled for removal before the end of April 2024.
  5. Phase 5 has been ongoing since February of 2024. This phase includes the removal of trees from Weir’s Sideroad to the east, Woodbine Avenue to the west, Baseline Road and Highway 48 to the north, and Ravenshoe Road to the south. Ash trees between Woodbine Avenue and McCowan Road have already been removed. Removal of remaining trees is expected to wrap up by the end of June 2024.

Tree replanting project (2023 to 2025)

A replanting program is also part of this program to ensure the Town maintains a healthy tree canopy, and is anticipated to be delivered in phases through 2022 to 2025. The Town’s certified Arborist supported by the Landscape Planner will select the replanting locations and tree species to create a diverse and pest resistant urban tree canopy. The replanting program will include a variety of native tree species chosen for their hardiness and suitability for urban environments in Georgina. Not all trees will be replaced.

Replanting schedule

  1. Phase 1 (2022): Replace existing plantings from previous years’ removals (approximately 250 trees)
  2. Phase 2 (2023): Replace removals from 2022
  3. Phase 3 (2024): Replace removals from 2023
  4. Phase 4 (2025): Replace removals from 2024

Removal process

Under the Town's Phased Ash Tree Removal and Replacement Program, the Forestry Services Division removes only municipally owned trees. Once an ash tree on municipal property has been identified, and its health has been confirmed as dead or dying, it is tagged with an orange marking for removal.

On regional roads, trees are tagged with a green marker. The Regional program is close to completion, and as such most Ash trees within the Regional Right of Way have been removed.

Ash trees on private property

Ash trees that are on private property are the responsibility of the property owner. If a resident decides to remove an ash tree on their property, a certified Arborist should be contacted. All costs associated with assessment, removal and replacement on private property are the responsibility of the property owner. Ash trees that are located on Town-owned property in front of homes will be managed through the EAB removal and replacement program.

Removing trees from private property

If you have ash trees on your property, it is recommended that you obtain the services of an ISA Certified Arborist as:

  • It can be difficult to tell if a tree is infested
  • By the time signs or symptoms appear in trees, it is often too late to treat
  • They can safely remove and dispose of wood waste
  • Insecticide treatments work best if applied before trees are infested/when infestation is at an early stage

For a list of certified arborists in your area, visit TreesAreGood or call 1-888-463-2316.

Don't wait to remove an infested ash tree - once it dies, it quickly becomes brittle and can damage your property or a neighbours.

Replanting trees from private property

If you are looking for assistance to replant trees on private property, check out the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority - Tree Planting.

Frequently asked questions

Who do I contact for more information?

After reviewing the above materials, if you have any further questions or concerns regarding EAB, contact Service Georgina at 905-476-4301.

How do I know what trees have been marked for removal?

On Town roads, trees will be marked with an orange marker. On regional roads, trees are tagged with a green marker for removal.

Where will the Town be removing trees?

We will be sharing information on where the crews are working to remove trees as part of this project on this page, as well as on the Town's social media channels.

How do I know if my tree is infested?

The most definitive evidence of EAB infestation is the characteristic “D-shaped” holes created by the adult beetle emerging from the bark. Other symptoms may include: thinning of the crown (loss of leaves), discolouration of leaves and suckering along the main trunk. For more information, visit the CFIA website.

Are there any chemical controls for EAB?

TreeAzin is a trademarked product that is available for treatment of EAB. The product is injected by licensed practitioners and is not a cure. The Town is treating a small number of heritage ash trees throughout the Town.

What happens to the trees once they are removed?

All removed trees are mulched. The mulch can be used throughout the Town of Georgina as all of York Region is within the quarantined area.

Where can I get more information about EAB?

Residents concerned about the spread of EAB can find more information from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency or by calling its toll-free number at 1-866-463-6017.

More information can also be found at Forests Ontario.

Contact Us

26557 Civic Centre Rd,
Keswick, ON  L4P 3G1

T: 905-476-4301 / 705-437-2210
F: 905-476-8100

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.