January 15, 2018

Emerald Ash Borer Designated As Insect Pest

As part of its plan to address forest insect and disease threats, the Government of Saskatchewan has listed the emerald ash borer as a designated insect pest, a key step in addressing this threat to the province’s forests.

The insect, originally from Asia and deadly to all species of ash tree, was detected in Winnipeg in December 2017 – the furthest west it has been found so far.  The emerald ash borer has not yet been found in Saskatchewan.

In addition to designating the insect, the Ministry of Environment has been authorized to take necessary regulatory and control measures on all lands south of the 55th parallel, which runs just south of La Ronge.  A key step is to prohibit transportation of firewood and wood products into Saskatchewan from infested areas.

“The emerald ash borer has been on Saskatchewan’s radar for at least a decade, as part of our provincial insect and disease strategy,” Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said.  “Officially designating the insect, and any lands that could potentially harbour it, gives us important legal tools to stop its spread into Saskatchewan.”

Ash trees grow naturally in some areas in the eastern part of Saskatchewan’s provincial forest.  Ash is also a popular shade tree, forming a major part of the urban forest in many cities and towns.

“The emerald ash borer, like other forest insect threats, is spread primarily by people transporting wood,” Duncan said.  “By not bringing potentially infested wood into Saskatchewan, everyone can help keep forest pests out of our province.”