Sunday, 5 October 2014

Saturday Photo: Emerald Ash Borer on a Sunny Sunday

Lee and I took Thomas out to the Parc du Cité-du-Havre today.  It's one of the unknown gems of Montreal, open space in the middle of the St. Lawrence, where the channel to the Old Port leaves the main body of the river.

There are picnic tables and bicycle paths, short trails down to the edge of the water, and grand views of both the city to the west and the mighty river to the east.  What's more there's free parking, and practically no one but a few fishermen on a chilly Sunday morning.

Two year old Thom liked walking along the edge of the road, following the lines painted on it, and going up and down various steps and ramps.  The crispy brown leaves were also fun to kick around.

But those leaves gave me the willies.  They weren't the usual early fall red and orange ones, but decidedly dead ones from a small grove of ash trees.  As I looked closer I saw that the trees themselves looked dead, and had been marked with what looked like signs tagging them for removal.

Emerald ash borer is the culprit, I'm pretty sure.  The insect has attacked in the Montreal area for the last three years with thousands of trees as possible victims.  It's too late for the ones in the lovely little park, but elsewhere some attempts are being made at stop the assault.  The sign above lately appeared on several mature ashes not far from us.  The tree is being treated, it says, and we all should be vigilant in protecting other ashes.  There are 200,000 in Montreal, it adds, and losing them would be great blow to the urban forest.

Something to make one shiver even when sitting in a sheltered, sunny place.


lagatta à montréal said...

Mary, I'm afraid I see several ash trees on my street with such marks for felling on them. Indeed the remaining leaves on some of them look all dead, far too early in this clement autumn.

This will make the street far less attractive, and of course we know the other consequences for microclimate and air quality.

I've never heard of Parc de la Cité du Havre. Dunno if it is accessible by bicycle, or on foot from the old port.

Mary Soderstrom said...

The park is quite accesible, it seems. At least there were several people with bikes who were fishing. I think the easiest way to get there would be to go to the old port, cross the canal, go past the silos and under the freeway, and then turn toward Habitat. The park is just a little farther on, with the road taking off just before the bridge over to the casino island.