Atlantic Urban Forestry Collective: EAB detected in Atlantic Canada

Heather Fraser – Canadian Urban Forest Network, Atlantic region representative

 June 7, 2018

The year started out with a three-day Atlantic Canada Forest Health Workshop held in Amherst, Nova Scotia from January 16-18th. Each province provided an update on invasive forest pests, Maine also presented their findings as pests know no borders and Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) – aka EAB – was not only discovered there but has been in Massachusetts as well since 2012.

Regulatory updates, invasive pest research, hands-on learning and field demonstrations were part of the workshop along with native pest issues, spruce budworm strategies and the budworm tracker program. Time was planned for open discussion around issues dealing with forest health whereby participants could share information and knowledge to take back home and use in their own communities.

At our past two UF workshops held in 2016 and 2018, EAB had been on the agenda for discussion. I can remember saying “it is not a matter of if – is a matter of when we see it in our region”.

Then on May 17, 2018 EAB was confirmed to be present in the City of Edmundston, NB, for the first time in Atlantic Canada. As a result of the detection and presence of EAB, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reached out to partner with municipalities to place EAB traps in communities where known ash stands of trees reside. Early detection is critical as this alien invasive pest is spreading across Canada and the USA.

CFIA has partnered in the past few years with Truro, NS, Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton, NB, placing traps where urban forestry is monitored and trees/forests are managed on an ongoing basis. If communities across the Atlantic region are interested in participating, please contact Ron J. Neville, Plant Health Science Services Division, Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

This new finding is the first for the Atlantic region, which is outside the regulated areas of Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Maine.  The CFIA and its partners are conducting additional surveys to determine whether this pest has become established in the area, and if so the extent of the spread.

The Atlantic Urban Forest Collective will be meeting this summer to plan for another two-day workshop in fall of 2019 with support from Tree Canada.  Talks are planned with the Union of Municipalities in the fall of 2018 to spread the workings of the Atlantic urban forest community and the Canadian Urban Forest Network membership through Tree Canada.