Due to the large population of Ash trees in our forests and conservation area, and the presence of the Emerald Ash Borer in the Hamilton area, we regularly need to remove dead or dying Ash trees under this hazard tree inspection program, to keep our areas free of hazards trees wherever possible. The program also identifies other hazard trees of different species, but the majority are Ash trees at this time.
Hazard Tree Policy
The Hamilton Conservation Authority’s hazard tree policy states that staff will regularly inspect trees located within reaching distance (should the tree be felled) of trails and viewing platforms inside active conservation areas. Inspections are carried out twice yearly in areas that can be occupied 24 hours a day, such as campgrounds. In addition to the twice yearly inspections, daily inspections are carried out by outdoor education staff in areas used for outdoor environmental education.
Emerald Ash Borer
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a highly destructive insect which kills ash trees. It has killed millions of ash trees in North America and poses a major environmental threat to urban and forested areas in Hamilton. It has the potential to destroy Hamilton’s entire Ash tree population by the year 2020.
What do they look like?
Emerald ash borer adults are metallic green, 8.5 to 13.5 mm long, and slender. The head is flattened, with black compound eyes that cover most of the side of the head. Short antennae extend from the face, then curve back to just past the eyes. The upper side of the abdomen is copper to purplish, and is visible when the wings are open.
Why are they a threat?
The emerald ash borer is able to attack and kill healthy trees and all native ash species, of all sizes are at risk.
EAB larvae have been found in branches as small as 1.1 cm in diameter.
Ash trees are widespread in Canada and the United States, both in natural and urban settings, and green ash is one of the most commonly planted species in the urban forest.
Emerald ash borer is very difficult to detect early. When infested trees are found, its often 1 year or more after the attack occurred. In addition, there are several other factors affecting ash health in Ontario which may disguise its presence.