The Emerald Ash Borer is headed to the Muskoka Forest accroding to the Muskoka Conservancy.

They’re already in Barrie and it’s only a matter of time until they get here.

On Monday, July 20  at 9 a.m. in front of the Visitor Information Centre (Bird’s Mill) in Bracebridge, the Muskoka Conservancy, along with BioForest Technologies, will install a trap for detection of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Mayor Graydon Smith will be present on behalf of Bracebridge.

Significant outbreaks of the metallic green EAB are reported in Barrie area this year and it is quickly moving toward the Muskoka forest. The Conservancy and BioForest are concerned and are partnering to raise awareness.

Mayor Smith was quoted as saying “The town has been following this issue. We are pleased the Conservancy has been proactive about public awareness.”

According to Rebecca Ferguson, Stewardship Technician with Muskoka Conservancy, this is late in the year for hanging detection traps.

“These traps are more for catching the attention of the public. We felt that there has been a very low level of awareness in the general public. Most of Muskoka’s Ash trees will soon be dying.”

Ferguson added “In addition to hanging these traps, we are hosting an information session at the Bracebridge Sportsplex on Aug. 4 beginning at 7 p.m. to share information and bring awareness to the community. “

Muskoka Conservancy has been concerned with the arrival of a number of invasive species in general, over the last decade. Emerald Ash Borer is the most recent. Reports of trees dying from EAB in Barrie helped to resolve Muskoka Conservancy to launch an awareness campaign in Muskoka.

BioForest Technologies President, Joe Meating, said he welcomes the chance to partner with Muskoka Conservancy and get the word out.

“For people with Ash trees that are in special places or prominent in neighbourhoods, there are some treatments to protect them.”

Emerald Ash Borer is a highly destructive invasive pest that arrived from Asia, most likely in untreated Ash wood used for packing material. In North America, EAB was first detected in Windsor, ON and Detroit, MI in 2002.

EAB beetles are metallic green in color and about 1 cm long. The insect feeds on leaves and lay eggs from June to August. EAB larvae are white and flat, with distinctive bell-shaped segments, and grow up to 2 cm long. They kill the tree by feeding on inner bark, cutting off water and nutrient flow.

EAB attacks all species of True Ash (Fraxinus spp.) found in North America. EAB kills True Ash of any size or age, including healthy trees. EAB does not attack or kill Mountain Ash. Sightings can be reported to the Conservancy.