Spring is heading our way and the City of Estevan is preparing for the insects that go along with it.
"Our biggest fear this year," explained Parks Manager, Rod March, "is by far the emerald ash borer. It's now a designated pest under the provincial legislation so there are restrictions now with respect to moving ash firewood because the emerald ash borer has pretty much decimated Ontario's ash population. It moved into Winnipeg last year so we know it's there. Our biggest fear is that it's moving along firewood in people's trucks."
He added that the same restrictions to Dutch elm will now apply to ash trees.
"I've been working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, that's who looks after this stuff, and we're going to be setting up traps."
He noted that an infestation would be particularly devastating to the City oF Estevan.
"You're living on a prairie grassland and not a lot of trees have a high rate of survival. The typical green ash that you see here do fairly well and that's because they are drought intolerant and they can handle the cold."
He mentioned that around 36% of the city-owned trees are ash trees.
"We're going to monitor early to see if the beetle is coming. We're going to be setting up around 20 monitoring stations. If we see signs or symptoms of the emerald ash borer, we do have a couple options for specific trees, but it's very expensive. There's a chemical that we can inject into the tree to protect it for about two years from the emerald ash borer. But I'm not going to waste money on protecting the trees if the beetle is not here yet."
More information regarding a number of insects they are monitoring will be coming to the City of Estevan website soon.