Deadly beetle found for first time in Toronto
A highly destructive and invasive beetle — which kills only ash trees — has been found for the first time in Toronto. And according to city officials it could have a devastating impact on the city’s urban forest — killing hundreds of thousands of ash trees on city streets, in the city’s parks and natural ravines, and on private property.
The emerald ash borer, which has its origins in Eastern Asia, was detected in the northeast part of the city near Sheppard Avenue East and Consumers Road just in the past few weeks, according to a spokesperson with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
The insect has been found in trees on Sheppard Avenue between Highway 404 and Brian Drive, according to Richard Ubbens, the city’s director of urban forestry. And there’s no way of knowing how many other ash trees in the city are infected because the emerald ash borer is difficult to detect.
The CFIA plans to impose a quarantine and will be asking property owners to not remove any ash trees or firewood from the area. The CFIA is asking anyone with a dead ash tree they suspect has fallen victim to the beetle to call 1-866-463-6017.