The City of Fredericton is warning residents to prepare for a catastrophic loss of tens of thousands of trees.

With the emerald ash borer on its way, ash trees in the capital are doomed, city forester Mike Glynn told the public safety and environment committee on Tuesday afternoon.

According to a report by the CBC News, the question the city is trying to answer is: should the trees be cut down now or after the beetle is already and obviously destroying them?

The beetle was found in Edmundston last month, and Flynn said it’s only a matter of time before it shows up in Fredericton, if it’s not here already. “At this point, from a proactive perspective, there’s nothing we can do,” he said. “It’s a waiting game at this point.

“Removal is pretty much the only option, unfortunately.”

Fredericton has about 10,000 ash trees in Odell Park alone and about 2,400 along city streets. The numbers don’t include ash trees in other city-owned parks or on private property.

The impact in Odell Park will be most noticeable along the park’s northeast side, where ash trees make up about 20 percent of the canopy in some areas, according to Don Murray, the city manager of parks and trees.

He said the city stopped planting ash in 2005 when it learned the ash borer would make its way to New Brunswick eventually and would one day destroy every ash tree in North America.

The invasive species showed up in Canada in 2002 in Windsor, Ont.

See full report Here.