Have you seen a healthy ash tree? We want to know!
By: Dr. Chris MacQuarrie, Natural Resources Canada Research Scientist
Researchers with Natural Resources Canada with help from the Invasive Species Centre are embarking on a quest to find ash trees that have survived the emerald ash borer.
Since its introduction to North America sometime in the 1990s, the emerald ash borer has laid waste to millions of ash trees throughout Canada and the United States. In most places where the beetle was introduced, almost all the ash trees were killed within the first few years. However, we know that some trees do survive invasion by the emerald ash borer. We’re looking for these lucky survivors.
This project has two main goals. First, we want to know where these trees have survived. Knowing where trees have survived will tell us about what growing conditions are needed to keep ash trees alive in places where beetles have been introduced. Second, we want to know what it is about these survivors that helped them resist attacks by the beetle. We know that some individual ash trees, and some ash species, are better able to fight off the emerald ash borer. If we can figure out what traits these survivors share we can use that information to tell us how to grow resistant ash trees in the future.
So what information are we looking for? We want to know what area of Canada the tree is in, its specific growing location, and the species of ash. We also need to know if the tree has ever been treated with an insecticide (we want to find trees that have been able to survive emerald ash borer without any help from us!) and, most importantly, if it’s okay for us to come and take samples of the tree for our project. We’ve created a form where you can tell us all of this information, and even upload a picture of the tree in question. We’ll also ask for your contact information and any information you may have about the owner of the tree.
Once you’ve volunteered your tree information we may reach out to come take some samples. Initially we will want to take a small sample (about 10-20 grams) of the bark of the tree. Later, we may ask to come and remove a small branch or two. That’s it! These trees are survivors of emerald ash borer and we want them to keep growing for many years to come!
Report your sighting of an EAB-resistant ash tree!