Oakville Takes Early Detection as Key to Tree Protection

For a more proactive step towards protecting the town’s trees from invasive insects such as the Gypsy Moth, the Asian Long-horned Beetle (ALHB), and the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), the town of Oakville has taken actions to monitor the populations and movements of the aforementioned destructive insects.

The Invasive Insect Looming Problem

Since the invasive insects have no natural predators in Oakville, their population can rise quickly and can cause environmental havoc as well as economic repercussions to the town. In an earlier article, we talked about the Saving Our Tree Canopies Week and Oakville is now taking things further.

According from Mayor Rob Burton, the purpose of this action is to conserve and enhance the tree canopies for present-day residents and future generations of Oakvillians. He further states that early detection through proactive monitoring is a cost-effective and positive system to help the town to act faster and thus reduce the harmful effects that the invasive species of insects can inflict on the town’s trees.

Concrete Steps for Tree Protection

More than 80 green prism traps has been hung on the town’s trees to monitor the infestation levels of EAB as well as to help target and prioritize the management of EAB for the monitoring program. To date, Oakville has been treating around 75% of the public Ash trees with an effective bio-insecticide and is known to have Canada’s most aggressive management programs in combating EAB.

Recently, the town took action to hang 10 ALHB traps in selected trees at the east area of the town. Although ALHB has not been detected in Oakville yet, its presence has been confirmed by the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) in an industrial area near Mississauga’s Pearson International Airport in September 2013. Since ALHB can be very destructive and can damage broadleaf trees like birch, willow, maple, poplar and elm, early detection with the use of the traps is a smart step towards protecting the town’s trees. The traps being used for trapping the insects (which is simply a can with a black bottom to trap and hold the insects) are not a threat to humans are animals. They are checked every 2-4 weeks  for the presence of ALHB and EAB by the town’s consultant, BioForest Technologies Inc.

More Tree Protection Programs in Oakville

An ALHB simulation site has been established by the CFIA at Bronte’s Berta Point Park to educate and help Parks and Open Space staff to quickly identify the insect’s presence. This is very important as the key to any form of infestation control is early detection.

Other monitoring projects by the town include a yearly survey on gypsy moth egg mass. This is done late in the year as this is the time that the moths have finished laying their eggs. The egg mass is crucial in determining the future population of the insect in Oakville. Gypsy moth larvae are very destructive and can feed on oak leaves voraciously, eating as much as 1 square meter of oak leaves per caterpillar/larva. At present time, the moderate population numbers of gypsy moths are not a big threat to the town’s trees, thanks to the monitoring program tasked to check unto the moth’s population.

BioForest Partnership

A partnership with BioForest Technologies has been initiated by the town for its Urban Forest Health Monitoring program. This program is geared on training volunteers on how to monitor their neighborhood trees and when to report any unusual insect activity.

If you want to be a volunteer or would want to know more about Oakville’s urban forestry initiative and programs on invasive insects, email canopyclub@oakville.ca or see the invasive insect page on their website.

In the close-knit town of Oakville, beautiful luxury homes are not the only things which can enrich your life. The town truly cares about giving residents the best living environment with lots of green space, beautiful sceneries and great community programs. Contact us to know more about how you can take up residence in one of Oakville’s beautiful luxury homes.

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