Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald Ash Borer

As steward of federal lands in Canada’s Capital Region, the National Capital Commission (NCC) is responsible for managing several lands. Many of which are located in wooded areas, like those adjacent to the parkways, urban parks, the Greenbelt and Gatineau Park. It is our responsibility to provide a safe environment for the users of these lands. Unfortunately, the majority of the ash trees on NCC lands have been affected by the emerald ash borer. To address this, the NCC has developed an emerald ash borer management strategy.

What Is the Emerald Ash Borer?

The emerald ash borer is a highly destructive insect that was discovered in Canada for the first time in the summer of 2002. This invasive insect has killed millions of ash trees in Canada and the United States. It poses a major economic and environmental threat to urban and forested areas in both countries. The emerald ash borer does not pose a risk to human health.

About the NCC’s Emerald Ash Borer Management Strategy

In the Greenbelt and Gatineau Park, the impact of emerald ash borer will be minimal, because the ash trees are primarily in forested areas. For the most part, dead trees will be left to decay. Removals will be undertaken when dead trees pose a health and safety risk.

On NCC urban lands, the scale of ash tree removals will increase over the next two to five years because of increasing ash tree mortality. A strategy was developed and is currently being implemented in response to the health and safety risks associated with dead and dying ash trees.

In January 2014, the NCC Board of Directors approved the following strategy:

  • The NCC will first remove trees that pose a health and safety risk to the users of its green spaces on urban lands and properties. This includes trees located on or adjacent to rental and commercial properties, in or adjacent to urban parks, and along NCC pathway and parkway corridors that, if they were to fall, could pose a risk to users or NCC neighbours. Other affected trees on urban lands will be removed more gradually over the next two to five years.
  • Tree stump removals will begin in the summer of 2014.
  • Through an injection program, attempts are being made to save trees in certain areas.

Once major removal operations are completed, the NCC will develop and implement a replanting program.

What You Can Do to Limit the Spread of the Emerald Ash Borer

  • Do not move ANY firewood across any significant distance.
  • When camping or at a cottage, buy your firewood locally, and burn it all before you leave.
  • Report suspected emerald ash borer infestations or outbreaks to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency at 1-866-463-6017.

More Information

For more information about the NCC’s emerald ash borer strategy or the emerald ash borer on NCC lands, please contact us at 613-239-5000, 613-239-5090 (TTY), 1-800-465-1867 (toll-free) or 1-866-661-3530 (toll-free TTY) or info@ncc-ccn.ca

Residents of the Capital can also find more information on these websites: