Many would say it’s not a matter of if but when when it comes to Brandon’s many Ash trees coming under assault by an invasive insect known as the Emerald Ash Borer.
The ash borer, first detected in North America in 2002, feeds on the inner bark of ash trees in its larvae stage eventually resulting in the killing of otherwise healthy trees. It was confirmed last year to be in Winnipeg with the Provincial capital since being regulated by the CFIA to disallow the movement of all firewood out of the city. Considering the nature of its progression its likely to be in Brandon in the coming years or perhaps even months if it isn’t already present given the challenges in detecting. Its been said that once here the entire population of the city’s ash trees may be killed within ten years
As part of invasive species awareness week the City of Brandon is taking the opportunity to remind folks how they avoid being part of the spread of the pest, emphasizing the message “Do not move firewood- Buy local, burn local.” Along Rosser Avenue 100 ash trees have been marked with awareness messaging as in the picture thats attached to this post. That 100 is a drop in the bucket amongst the approximately 12,000 ash that are likely to be in the crosshairs of the invasive pest.
As part of messaging, its asked the reports of potentially infested trees be phoned into 204-945-7866. The province has more extensive information on the current state of spread in Manitoba and response at this link. For those looking for further detailed information including how to detect, Canadian Forest Service has published a guide at this link