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 a number of phases of delivery within the EAB removal program.
- 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 Willow Beach, De La Salle Park, Duclos Point Road, and Silverstone Crescent.
- Phase 2 started in May 2022 and will continue until May 2023. This phase includes larger ‘sweeping removals’ of entire areas. After the safe removal of a tree, designated stumps will also be removed. Keswick and the surrounding area from Ravenshoe Road to the south, Old Homestead Road to the north, the waterfront to the west and Woodbine Avenue to the east, was the first area to have ash tree removals completed. This area is now in the process of having designated stumps removed. The second area to have ash trees removed is Pefferlaw and the surrounding area. This area includes the waterfront to the north, Ravenshoe Road to the south, Weir’s Sideroad to the west and Lake Ridge Road to the east. Pefferlaw is expected to have all trees removed by mid-March. Stumping is currently being conducted in this area. While removals are wrapping up in Pefferlaw, tree removals will begin along Lake Drive starting the week of March 13. Tree removals are expected to be completed along Lake Drive in mid-April. 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. Once tree removal is completed along Lake Drive, removals will begin in the Virginia area.
- Phase 3 will begin in May of 2023.
- Phase 4 will begin in May of 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.
- Phase 1 (2022): Replace existing plantings from previous years’ removals (approximately 250 trees)
- Phase 2 (2023): Replace removals from 2022
- Phase 3 (2024): Replace removals from 2023
- Phase 4 (2025): Replace removals from 2024
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.