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Yorkton on look-out for emerald ash beetle

Traps set in search for invasive species
Emerald Ash beetle trap
One of 10 traps in Yorkton which help in monitoring for the emerald ash borer beetle.

YORKTON - The Parks Recreation and Culture Department has set a series of traps around the community looking to trap a potential new villain which could threaten city trees.

Residents may notice a green, box-like structure hanging high in the foliage of 10 ash trees in the city. The structures are traps for the emerald ash borer beetle.

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a metallic green beetle, about a centimetre in length. In its native Asia, the beetle attacks already weakened and stressed ash trees, but in North America it kills healthy ash trees, details

Silver Liccud, arborist with the City of Yorkton said the beetle is thought to have arrived in North America in Michigan, and by 2002 was found in Ontario.

Ontario was not able to control the beetle and in the fall of 2017 it was identified in Winnipeg.

There are concerns Saskatchewan will be next with communities along Highways #16 and #1 considered the most likely access points, putting Yorkton as a likely early entry point.

Matt Charney, Parks Manager with the City of Yorkton said the most likely way they arrive in the city is through wood brought in from Manitoba.

The beetles live and breed in ash wood, so people transporting infested firewood or wood products is the most common way that EAB is spread.

With that in mind Charney said people can help stop the beetle from arriving simply by not transporting ash firewood and wood products from an infested area into a non-infested area.

Once established, EAB kills almost all of the ash trees in an area. Since more than a quarter of Saskatchewan's urban trees are varieties of ash, the beetle poses a serious – and potentially costly – threat as dead trees must be removed and replaced, noted

Locally the beetle could be devastating to the trees in the city.

Liccud estimated there are some 5000 ash trees in Yorkton, or about 20 per cent of the total tree population.

“So it is a concern,” added Charney.

So far the beetle does not appear to have arrived in the city. The traps are now in their third year and no beetles have been found.

The traps will be monitored until September.

Invasive pests, including EAB, are federally regulated, with monitoring and control effects led by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The Government of Saskatchewan has also put regulatory controls in place to support the CFIA's efforts. EAB has been designated as a pest in Saskatchewan to prevent infested wood or seedlings from entering the province, detailed

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