CBC NEWS — Approximately 500 ash trees, now under threat from the destructive emerald ash borer, will be cut or treated in the next few years, says Dan Hicks, director of Parks for the City of Moncton.

According to a report by CBC News, a plan was developed after the insect was found in a north-end tree on private property last summer.

“The statistics show…that 99 percent of ash trees die within the first six years of detection,” Hicks said.

Ash trees are found along city streets and in some parks. There are a few clusters along Millennium Boulevard.

Hicks said after completing inspections, about 50 of the city’s ash trees are in poor condition and will have to be cut down “before they become hazardous,” and replaced with another species.

The remaining 450 are in “reasonable” shape and will be treated in an effort to keep them for as long as possible.

“Basically I’m looking at the ash trees now that are in good condition and I’m looking at basically renting them for the next few years versus having to go through all the expense of removal and replacement all at once.”

Hicks said the cost to remove and replace a tree is about $1000, while the cost to inject a tree with a chemical that repels the emerald ash borer, is just $30 a year.

“The [ash trees] that are in good condition, we do plan to treat them with the systemic insecticide to keep them as long as we possibly can,” he said.

The city’s plan calls for different types of trees to be replanted once an ash tree has been removed. Hicks says the plan is to stagger removal and replanting of trees over several years.

The municipality is only responsible for trees on city-owned land, so private homeowners will have to monitor their ash trees.

“There is a healthy tree-care community in New Brunswick and in Moncton, so there are local contractors that could be available to assist if required.”

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