Emerald Ash Borer

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Ash Tree - Treatment and Removal Map

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Treatment: Ash tree is scheduled to be treated.
Removal: Ash tree is scheduled to be removed.

Content - Environment - Urban Forest Mgmt - Emerald Ash Borer

2019-2020 Emerald Ash Borer mitigation schedule

The larvae of Emerald Ash Borer can make ash trees dangerous to people and property. Removal and treatment of ash trees on municipal land are necessary to ensure public safety. Here's this year's work schedule:

  • Fall 2019 – planting 1,000 trees 
  • Winter 2020 – removal of 500 ash trees
  • Spring 2020 - planting 250 trees
  • Spring/Summer 2020 – removal of stumps left from winter 2020 ash tree removal
  • Late Summer 2020 – treatment of ash trees
  • Fall 2020 – planting 750 trees

About the Emerald Ash Borer infestation

The Emerald Ash Borer is here. In July 2013 a strip branch survey conducted by a City tree inspector identified firm evidence of the Emerald Ash Borer. The findings were reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the public agency in charge of tracking the infestation, which only affects ash trees.

This beetle, with a metallic green body, kills any ash tree it inhabits within two to three years.  It's actually the larva of the Emerald Ash Borer that kill the ash trees – tunneling under the bark to feed, cutting off the flow of nutrients and water.  Infested ash trees become extremely porous and are at risk of breaking or falling, posing a danger to residents, adjacent buildings, vehicles and property.

The Emerald Ash Borer has been chewing its way across Ontario since 2002.This destructive beetle only infests ash trees. Unfortunately it is inevitable that Kingston ash trees will become infested.

Interested in how the City is approaching the removal of ash trees on municipal property?  See the City of Kingston Ash Tree Removal Strategy & Adherence to the Migratory Bird Convention Act. The protocols it outlines will help minimize the impact of removing City ash trees on Kingston's nesting migratory birds.

Follow the steps below if you suspect you have an ash tree on your property:

Your responsibility: Dealing with the Emerald Ash Borer

You are responsible for dealing with any ash trees on your property (just as the City is responsible for ash trees on municipal properties).

  1. Use the photos further down on this page to identify ash trees on your property.
  2. Check your property survey to determine whether the ash tree is on your property, a neighbour's property or the City's property.

Please note: Ash trees on the City's property are already accounted for in the City's tree inventory and are already being monitored by the City. You are only responsible for your trees.

  1. If you do have an ash tree, call a certified arborist to discuss treatment or removal (look in the Yellow Pages under "Trees").

What the City is doing about the Emerald Ash Borer

The City has been preparing for the expected arrival of this destructive invasive species for some time. The City has completed an inventory of municipally-owned trees – in parks, on boulevards, at City facilities and along roads. The City has also completed an EAB Impact Cost Mitigation Plan.

Ash trees account for about 3,500 or 12 per cent of municipally-owned trees in Kingston's urban area. These trees have been regularly monitored – that's how we know the EAB is here – and will continue to be monitored.

About 600 of the larger, healthy ash trees will be treated with a bio-insecticide (400 have already been treated). Treating all the City's ash trees is cost-prohibitive and not sustainable, so many of the ash trees will be removed and replaced with other species of tree over the next few years although they may be put in a different spot from the original tree to protect overhead and underground infrastructure. See Appendix F of the Urban Forest Master Plan for a draft species planning list.

Do you have an ash tree? 

Ash Tree BranchAsh trees have compound leaves 13 to 30 cm in length. Ash twigs emerge from the branch opposite to one another. The grey bark of the ash is smooth on young trees and ridges and furrowed forming a diamond pattern in older trees. If you have an ash tree, it is likely a good idea to immediately decide to consult an arborist (a tree-care professional) about removing or treating your tree.

Check ash trees for infestation

If you can see that your ash tree is infested, it may already be dangerous. Consult with a professional arborists to determine whether to treat or remove your ash tree. Removing trees is dangerous. Leave it to a professional. 

Is your tree infested? 

You likely will not be able to spot an infestation until your ash tree's crown yellows and thins. Affected trees may have D-shaped exit holes about 3mm in diameter, or show damage from woodpeckers feeding on the larva.  Dying trees may produce a heavy seed crop and show new shoots on their trunks.


While cosmetic pesticides are banned for use in Ontario, a registered insecticide treatment may be used to control the Emerald Ash Borer as it is an invasive species. TreeAzin is such a treatment – see bioforest.ca for more information.  As an ash tree may need repeated treatments, starting in May, to protect it, you may only wish to consider treatment for structurally sound, healthy trees that would be expensive to remove – or ones that are significant to you.


Consult an arborist about removing your ash trees and replacing them with another tree. Removing trees is dangerous. Leave it to a professional. For more information download the booklet "Guidelines for hiring tree care services to manage urban trees" (donated to Kingston by the City of Toronto), or call Customer Service to request it be mailed to your home 613-546-0000.

Stages of Deterioration

Healthy Ash Tree
Healthy ash tree Ash tree showing signs of crown thinning due to EAB
Extensive thinning of foliage and new shoots sprouting from the tree trunk Significant crown dieback and sprouts
Tree almost completely dead  


Photos courtesy of the City of Toronto

Image - Residents - Environment - Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer