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September 16, 2011
City of Toronto holding information sessions on Emerald Ash Borer infestation
The City of Toronto will host community information sessions about the Emerald Ash Borer infestation on September 20, 21 and 22.

The Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect originally from Asia, is destroying otherwise healthy ash trees across the city. By 2017, the vast majority of Toronto's estimated 860,000 ash trees will be dead or dying. That loss represents about nine per cent of Toronto's tree canopy.

Meetings will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the following locations next week:

Scarborough Civic Centre, Committee Rm. 1 - Tuesday, September 20
150 Borough Dr. (McCowan Road and Ellesmere Road)

Etobicoke Civic Centre - Wednesday, September 21
399 The West Mall (Burnhamthorpe Road and the West Mall)

Masaryk Cowan Community Recreation Centre - Thursday, September 22
220 Cowan Ave. (Dufferin Street and Queen Street West)

An earlier round of information sessions took place in June when the City began the removal of 950 dead and dying ash trees along streets and in public parks after surveys indicated infestations in Scarborough, parts of North York and west Toronto.

Current data show that the infestation has spread to most areas of the city. Approximately 400 more ash trees along streets and in parks will be removed this fall. Before the end of 2011, the City of Toronto will have cut down and removed a total of 1,350 ash trees. Urban Forestry will replace each of them with a new tree of an appropriate species.

Private property owners will be responsible for cutting down and removing dead and dying ash trees on their property. The permit fee that the City normally charges to cut down a tree will be waived in the case of dead or dying ash trees.

Tree removal is hazardous and could result in personal injury and /or property damage if not done properly. The City highly recommends that homeowners who remove trees of significant size hire a qualified arborist to perform the task.

More information about the Emerald Ash Borer infestation is available at

Media note: Video footage of an ash tree being cut down, and of an Emerald Ash Borer's tracks, is available at

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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