Saturday, 20 June 2015

Saturday Photo: Emerald Ash Borer and the Sixth Extinction

Lots in the news about what climate change and human intervention in the natural world lately: the Pope's encyclical on the environment is a case in point.  
I thought of that this morning when out walking and saw, once again, these signs on several large ash trees on Mount Royal.  Unfortunately the treatment against the emerald ash borer, which was started last fall, didn't work for several that didn't leaf out this spring.  They have become sad ghosts. 
Earlier this week, the city took down several younger ash trees on our street as part of the attempt to contain the disease.  The trees had been planted in the last five or six years to replace aging maples.  All of them appeared relatively healthy, but the strategy is to create a cordon sanitaire around  affected areas, apparently.  
They're supposed to be replaced in the near future, but with what I have no idea.  Once again the balance of nature has been upset by the introduction of something.  As Le Devoir reports this morning, we are in the midst of what appears to be the sixth great extinction of life on earth, with consequences that were not even imagined only a few years ago. 

1 comment:

Rural said...

Unfortunately the strategy of cutting down healthy trees to "stop the spread" of the Emerald Ash Borer is simply a waste of time and effort, there are far to many Ash trees in our forests and countryside for this to work. Conservation authorities have all but discontinued this practice and instituted a ban on moving firewood out of effected areas.
With a 30 acre forest property with 1000s of trees, many being Ash, all I can do is cut them for firewood as and when they die. I just hope nothing happens to hurt the Maples and other hardwoods.