Q1. What is EAB?

EAB is a highly destructive invasive pest of ash trees that was confirmed in Canada for the first time in the summer of 2002. It has killed a large number of ash trees in southwestern Ontario and poses a major economic and environmental threat to urban and forested areas across Canada and the U.S. EAB does not pose a risk to human health.

Q2. What does EAB look like?

The beetle is metallic green in colour and is 8.5-14.0 mm (about 1/2 inch) long and 3.1-3.4 mm (1/8 inch) wide. While the back of the insect is an iridescent, metallic green, the underside is a bright, emerald green. The body is narrow and elongated, and the head is flat. The eyes are kidney shaped and usually black.

EAB larva is white and flat, has distinctive bell shaped segments and can grow up to 30 mm (1 inch) long.

Q3. What trees species are susceptible to attack by EAB?

In North America, EAB has been found to attack and kill all North American species of ash. The mountain-ash is not related to ash trees and is not attacked by EAB.

Infested ash trees in North America generally die after two to three years, but heavily infested trees have been observed to die after one year of beetle attack.

Q4. How serious a threat is EAB?

EAB poses a very serious threat to all species of ash trees throughout their range in the U.S. and Canada. During the relatively short time that EAB has been in North America, it is believed to have killed more than 20 million trees in the U.S. and Canada. Billions more trees across North America are at risk of infestation and death.

Q5. What is the importance of ash trees?

Ash trees are an important part of Canada's urban and rural landscape. They are commonly found on city streets, in woodlots, in windbreaks and in forests across southern Canada. In many areas of western Canada, ash trees are one of the few trees which are suitable for street-planting in urban areas.

Ash wood is also used to make furniture, hardwood floors, baseball bats, tool handles, electric guitars, hockey sticks and other materials that need high strength and resilience.

Q6. Where did EAB come from? How did it get to Canada? How long has it been here?

EAB is native to China and eastern Asia, and was found in North America in 2002. In May 2002, it was discovered in southeastern Michigan in the U.S. and in July 2002 it was found in Essex County in Ontario. Like some other exotic pests that affect plants and trees, it is believed to have been accidentally introduced to North America on imported wood packaging or crating material.

Q7. How is EAB spread?

The human movement of infested materials such as firewood, logs, branches, nursery stock, chips or other ash wood is the most common way EAB has been spread. Research on EAB indicates the adult beetle can fly up to 10 km, but generally does not stray from the immediate area when it emerges.

Q8. Where has EAB been found in Canada?

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducts ongoing surveys to determine the leading edge of EAB infestation in Canada and to detect any new populations that may have resulted through the movement of infested firewood, nursery stock or other ash forest products. In Canada, EAB has been confirmed in the municipalities of Brantford, Chatham-Kent and Bluewater; Elgin, Essex, Lambton, Middlesex and Norfolk counties; Brampton, Hamilton, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Pickering, Sault Ste. Marie, Welland, Toronto and Vaughan; and in the municipality of Carignan in Quebec.

Q9. Who has the responsibility for regulatory control of EAB?

Under the authority of the Plant Protection Act, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is the agency responsible for preventing pests of quarantine significance from entering or spreading within Canada. When pests of quarantine significance become established a decision must be made, in consultation with other federal, provincial and municipal government departments and stakeholders, whether there is merit in trying to eradicate or contain the pest. Continued efforts and cooperation of all partners are required to protect Canada's valuable forest resources.

Q10. What is the proposed plan to control EAB?

The City of Brantford and the CFIA believe there is continued merit in slowing the spread of EAB within Canada and protecting this country's vast ash resource. Consistent with the position of its federal, provincial and municipal partners, the current emphasis is on continued research, surveillance, effective communications and enforcement activities.

The City of Brantford continues to consult with federal, provincial and municipal partners and stakeholders on science-based strategies for the detection and control of EAB. Biological control and natural tree resistance may play increasingly important roles in managing EAB populations.

Q11. What do I do if I suspect my ash tree is infested?

If you are not in one of the areas regulated for EAB and suspect signs of infestation on your ash trees, contact the CFIA at 1-866-463-6017.

If you are in an EAB-regulated area and have recently trimmed or cut down your ash tree, please call the CFIA for directions on disposal.

Q12. What can I do to help?

Do not move the regulated materials.
Buy and burn firewood locally.
Report signs of EAB infestation to the City of Brantford or the CFIA.

City of Brantford - 519-756-1500

CFIA 1-866-463-6017