Emerald Ash Borer 430In the coming weeks, nearly 450 trees either decimated and dead or drying from the emerald ash borer (EAB) will be removed from Centennial Park in Etobicoke, Ont.

According to a report by InsideToronto.com, Etobicoke’s borer-infested ash trees are among Toronto’s 860,000 ash trees affected by the borer. A city-hired contractor will remove nearly 100 large, and approximately 350 moderate-sized ash trees from the park, otherwise known as Etobicoke’s ‘crown jewel.’

“That’s a fairly significant impact,” Jennifer Gibb, one of two natural resource specialists with the city’s urban forestry department, said in the report. “This little bug has definitely impacted our trees more than the Asian Long-Horned Beetle.”

The city’s EAB removal strategy has been contained in Etobicoke to the woodlot and manicured, well-traveled areas in Centennial Park, as well as Bloordale Park.

As the dense forest will not permit a conventional removal system (i.e. climbing the trees and cutting them down branch-by-branch, they will be removed using a logging approach, which involves the use of a skidder to fell the trees. This tree removal strategy was developed to protect residents from falling dead trees, as well as to help restore the forested area using new hickory, oak, and maple trees.

“We’re trying to do the removal in a natural way leaving some of the brush behind to decompose and undertaking a fairly aggressive replanting program to reintroduce a high diversity of tree species,” added Gibb.