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The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) & Richmond Hill's Ash Trees

About the Emerald Ash Borer
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a non-native, invasive insect that attacks and kills ash trees. While EAB poses no health risk to humans or pets, ash trees of all species and sizes (with the exception of Mountain Ash) are susceptible to attack. EAB is currently posing a major economic and environmental threat to urban and forested areas across southern Ontario. It is estimated that millions of ash trees have already been infested and killed by EAB since it arrived in North America.

EAB in Richmond Hill
EAB infested trees were discovered on King's Cross Avenue in Richmond Hill in March 2011. Its presence was confirmed across York Region in 2012.

Ash trees are widespread on public and private properties throughout Richmond Hill. They contribute significantly to neighbourhood and park aesthetics, provide shading and cooling effects and are important components of local ecosystems.

2015 Ash Tree Removal/Replacement Program & Woodchip Giveaway
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is expected to kill all of the ash trees in Richmond Hill in the next 3 to 5 years. The Town is implementing a management strategy for ash trees on public property. Here's what's going on in 2015:

Streets (Boulevards)
So far this year, the Town has removed 1,400 ash trees that were dead or dying from EAB damage. Stumps from these trees will be removed this spring. All remaining Town-owned ash trees on streets have been re-assessed. Trees with the most significant damage at the time of assessment have been marked with a green 'R' to indicate that they will be removed later this year.

Replanting of 1,250 trees is underway.

Trees that were treated with pesticide in 2013 and are deemed healthy, will be treated again this summer.

So far this year, the Town has removed 1,700 ash trees from parks. Removal of park trees that are dead or dying due to EAB damage will continue through 2017, as per the Parks & Open Space Removal and Replacement Plan.

Replanting of 167 park trees is underway.

Residents with trees adjacent to their property that are scheduled for maintenance (pesticide treatment, removal, stumping or replacement), will receive a notice in the form of a door hanger prior to the work being done.

Woodchip Giveaway (Local Use Only)
Image: wood chip pile Looking for wood chips for your garden? Free wood chips are available for pick up at Richmond Green, 1300 Elgin Mills Road East. The pile is located at the west end of the parking lot in front of Tom Graham arena. Please help yourself.

Using woodchips in your garden means less weeding, less watering, faster plant growth, protection from overheated soils during hot summers, added nutrients to your soil and less bruised fruit under fruit trees!

Please be advised that these wood chips may contain ash trees that have been infected by the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). As such, we ask that you only use them locally. This will help stop the spread of EAB.

EAB Resources

Emerald Ash Borer Frequently Asked Questions - English [PDF]  - Chinese [PDF] - Russian [PDF] - Farsi [PDF]

A Visual Guide to Detecting Emerald Ash Borer Damage [PDF] - courtesy Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service

What you Need to Know About the Management of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) – Guidelines for Hiring Tree Care Services to Manage Urban Trees [PDF] - courtesy Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Commercial Arborist Association and the City of Toronto

Healthy and infested ash treesAsh Trees on Public Property
Richmond Hill values its natural tree cover and is committed to protecting it. In response to the threat of EAB, Town staff have developed an EAB Management Strategy for trees on public property, which was approved by Council in October 2011. The Management Strategy aims to reduce the significant aesthetic, environmental and financial impacts of EAB on Richmond Hill through monitoring and treatment, ash tree removal and replacement, along with communication and public awareness. Implementation of the Management Strategy is underway.

EAB Management Strategy Update (SREIS.13.021) - October 21, 2013 [PDF]

EAB Management Strategy Update (SREIS.12.036) - December 3, 2012 [PDF]

EAB Management Strategy 2012 Accomplishments [PDF]

EAB Management Strategy (SREIS.11.024) - October 17, 2011 [PDF]

The Town is treating some of the largest and healthiest ash trees along streets and in Ash trees treated with TreeAzin are marked with a tagparks with pesticide (TreeAzin™) to help minimize damage caused by EAB. However, not all ash trees will be treated by the Town. Property owners may apply for a permit in order to treat town-owned ash trees adjacent to their property with TreeAzin™, at their own expense, by completing the application at the link below.

Application to Treat Town-Owned Trees [PDF]

Completed application forms can be emailed to; dropped off at Richmond Hill's main Municipal Offices, 225 East Beaver Creeek Road, 5th floor; or mailed to Town of Richmond Hill, Attention: Natural Environment, 225 East Beaver Creek Road, 5th floor, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3P4.

Ash Trees on Private Property
Property owners are responsible for trees on private property. If you have an ash tree on your property and suspect an EAB infestation we urge you to consult with a professional arborist about management options that will protect your property and ensure your safety. Arborists can be found in the Yellow Pages and other business directories. You should choose an arborist certified with the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), registered with the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA), or Provincially qualified Arborists and Utility Arborists by the College of Trades. Make sure to ask if there is a fee for inspection and quotes, as some companies provide these services free of charge.

It is recommended that property owners ask about options for tree protection, tree removal* and tree replacement. In addition, ensure that you get multiple estimates for any tree work.

*Permit fees for ash tree removal will be waived for the duration of the EAB Management Strategy (10 years), but an application must still be submitted to obtain a permit. Please visit for more information.

How to Identify an Ash Tree

How to Identify an Ash Tree

Signs & Symptoms of EAB Infestation

Signs & Symptoms of EAB Infestation

For more information about EAB, visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website. For more information about EAB in Richmond Hill, call 905-771-8800 or contact Natural Environment staff at

Photo credits: 1. David Cappaert (Michigan State University); 2. Daniel Herms (The Ohio State University); 3. Rob Routledge (Sault College); 4/5. Keith Kanoti (Maine Forest Service); 6. Canadian Food Inspection Agency/l'Agence canadienne d'inspection des aliments; 7. Debbie Miller (USDA Forest Service); 8. Michigan Department of Agriculture;
9. Joseph O'Brein (USDA Forest Service).
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