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

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a non-native, wood-boring beetle 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. Richmond Hill, like many communities in York Region and throughout southern Ontario, has been impacted by EAB. It is expected that EAB will kill all of the ash trees in Richmond Hill in the next 3 to 5 years. On this page, you'll find information about:

  • Richmond Hill's plan to manage ash trees on public property
  • Ongoing ash tree removals and replacements on public property
  • What you should do if you have an ash tree on your private property
  • How to identify an ash tree and EAB infestation

    All About EAB in Richmond Hill

    What's Happening to Ash Wood from Richmond Hill

    2016 Ash Tree Removal/Replacement Program & Wood Chip 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 2016:

    Streets (Boulevards)
    All remaining Town-owned ash trees on streets will be re-assessed for damage this June. Trees with the most significant damage at the time of assessment will be removed in winter 2017. 

    Park trees that are dead or dying due to EAB damage are also being removed. Tree removals will continue each fall/winter through 2017, as per the Parks & Open Space Hazardous Ash Tree Removal and Replacement Plan.

    Replanting of street and park trees will take place in early fall 2016.

    Pesticide Treatment
    Trees that were treated with pesticide in 2014 and are deemed healthy enough will be treated again this summer.

    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.

    Wood Chip Giveaway (Local Use Only)
    Image: wood chip pile Looking for wood chips for your garden? Free wood chips are available for pick up (second week of May thru November) 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 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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