Emerald Ash Borer In Our Park

Arborists from the City of Toronto set up to take down part of an Ash Tree in Ben Nobleman Park that has been attacked by Emerald Ash Borer beetles.

Death of a Native Tree

This year, sadly, Ben Nobleman Park became a statistic as the notorious Emerald Ash Borer killed of one of our native ash trees. During the growing season the Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard volunteers spend hours each month caring for our fruit trees and pollinator garden. But an event like this reminds us not to take our park’s beautiful native trees for granted.

Emerald Ash Borer tunnels can be seen just under the bark of the tree. These tunnels, created by the larvae of the beetle,  stop water and nutrients from flowing properly around the tree which results in tree death.

How Emerald Ash Borer Affects Trees

The larvae of this metallic green beetle bores tunnels in the living tissue just under the bark. This in turn stops the flow of nutrients around the tree leading to dehydration, starvation and death.

And so, in 2016, The City of Toronto’s Parks Forestry and Recreation Department sent a team of arborists to cut down part of the tree which had already been weakened by the ash borers.

City arborists climb the tree to slowly and safely remove the dead branches one by one.

Emerald Ash Borer History

Since its arrival to North America from China in the late 1990s, the Emerald Ash Borer has spread quickly across North America, killing millions of ash trees across the country. Another park in our neighbourhood, Cedarvale Park, lost most of its ash trees to this damaging insect in 2014.

In 2014, city arborists removed many ash trees in Cedarvale Park as a result of an Emerald Ash Borer infestation. Since then the city has planted new trees (but not ash trees of course).


So, this little post is just to thank that ash tree for all it has done for us humans over its lifetime. All trees clean our air, stabilize our soil, and provide habitat for wildlife.

And just because you don’t provide us with fruit we can eat, doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate you! Hopefully now we’ll spend a little extra time appreciating all the trees in our park and not just our beautiful young fruit trees.

The legacy of the Emerald Ash Borer! This is the stump of the ash tree in Ben Nobleman Park. The other side of the tree will probably be removed next year.

Susan weeding around the apple trees in the east side of the park.

Susan Poizner is the Coordinator of the Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard. She’s the author of the award-winning fruit tree care book Growing Urban Orchards and the creator of the online fruit tree care training program for arborists, master gardeners and new growers at www.orchardpeople.com. Susan is also the host of The Urban Forestry Radio Show on RealityRadio101

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