The City of Mississauga removed about 7,500 trees from Malton due to an infestation of Asian Long-horned Beetle (ALHB). Several thousand of those trees were removed from Wildwood Park.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) created a regulated eradication zone in Wildwood Park and the surrounding area after the ALHB was discovered in Malton; it is native to Asia and attacks and kills only healthy, deciduous trees. Maple, willow, birch and poplar are the preferred hosts for the beetle; these trees make up about half of the City’s tree canopy.
“The only way to get rid of the insects is to remove the trees and destroy tree debris in the quarantine zone,” said Gavin Longmuir, Manager, Forestry. “Eradication of this pest is critical to protect host trees within Mississauga and to ensure the beetle does not spread throughout Ontario and North America.”
Longmuir explained the CFIA is reimbursing the City for eradication costs. The City has requested that the federal government provide costs to replant the trees and anticipates the costs will be covered; replanting will begin in the affected area this fall.
“We are committed to protecting and growing the tree canopy,” said Longmuir. “This fall, tree replanting will start in Wildwood Park. This will be the first step to rehabilitating the tree canopy in the park. City contractors will also replant larger size trees in the main picnic area. We will be choosing trees that will not be affected by ALHB.”
Forestry staff will host community tree planting events through the One Million Trees program. The goal of this program is to plant small trees and shrubs in the park. “We plan to replace all trees on City property eventually,” added Longmuir. “This will be a long process.”
To learn more about the program, to plan an event in your neighbourhood or to sign up for an upcoming planting visit onemilliontrees.ca.
In December 2013 the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency (CFIA) found evidence of the Asian Long-horned Beetle in the corporate area surrounding Toronto International Airport. As a result they established a regulated area in parts of the cities of Mississauga and Toronto. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for the control and eradication of invasive insects such as ALHB.
Residents and businesses are restricted from moving any tree material out of the regulated area unless authorized by the CFIA. This includes firewood of all tree species, nursery stock, trees, logs, lumber and wood with bark attached and wood and bark chips from trees that are identified as hosts to the ALHB. The movement of infected wood material can accidentally spread the beetle to unaffected areas.