Emerald ash borer: Overview

The emerald ash borer (EAB) was initially discovered in southeastern Michigan near Detroit in the summer of 2002. It is believed that the beetles were transported on solid wood packaging material carried in cargo ships originating from its native home of China or eastern Asia.

On November 28, 2011, The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued its first ministerial order restricting the movement of wood and confirming the presence of the EAB in 25 Ontario counties, and in three areas in the province of Quebec.

On April 18, 2012: CFIA expanded its regulated area for the emerald ash borer to include Montreal.
On June 1, 2012, the first infected ash tree was detected in Hampstead.

About the EAB:
The EAB is a highly destructive insect pest of ash trees. The adult beetles nibble on ash foliage but cause little damage. The larvae (the immature stage) feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients.

As for infested trees, it is difficult to see symptoms in the first 1–2 years of infestation. Typically in the third year after infestation, ash trees will become brittle and start to drop major branches and will exhibit significant dieback. Typically, within six years of an infestation, more than 99% of ash trees will be dead.

How does it spread?
While the EAB can fly up to several kilometres, another significant factor contributing to its spread is the movement of firewood, nursery stock, trees, logs, lumber, wood with bark attached and wood or bark chips.

EAB Regulated Articles:
The movement of regulated ash articles and firewood poses the greatest risk of spreading EAB to non-regulated areas. To reduce this risk CFIA regulates the movement of articles made of ash and firewood of all species to prevent the spread of EAB from a regulated area.

Those who move these materials from a regulated area without prior permission from the CFIA could face fines and/or prosecution.

List of regulated articles
Map of regulated areas

Tree removal moratorium:
Due to the EAB and strict federal government restrictions on the movement of wood products, the Town has enacted a moratorium on tree felling. No ash tree may be cut down and removed from April 1 to October 31. Trees that must be cut down for safety reasons will have to be left on site until the end of the restriction period. Branches must be chipped and disposed of at an accredited on-island disposal site. Branches and wood of all types CANNOT be disposed of in the Town’s weekly Green Collection.

Tree Removal Permits:
Any request to remove or fell a tree must be filed with Hampstead’s Urban Planning department. Residents must bring a certificate from an accredited arborist. The requisite permit fee for the felling of an infected ash tree is waived by special order of Council. Please be advised that only tree removal for safety reasons or for construction/renovation will be considered, and that restrictions regarding the removal of wood and wood products must be strictly followed. For further information regarding permits, please refer to the Tree Removal Permit page.

Collaboration is vital:
The collaboration of all residents in the effort to combat the emerald ash borer is extremely important, as even one infected tree that is not treated or removed improperly can allow for hundreds of new insects to grow and spread elsewhere. Residents who have questions about the emerald ash borer are invited to refer to our FAQ or contact Town Hall at 514 369-8200.