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​Pest Preparedness

Urban forestry preventative maintenance programs incude pest preparedness measures to ensure that the City of Barrie’s trees are safe and healthy.

The City is in a zone under regulation by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for Swede Midge (Contarinia nasturtii), Japanese Beetle (Popillia japonica), Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) and the Pine Shoot Beetle (Tomicus piniperda). While they are present within City limits, natural predators and/or control agents are keeping the populations of these non-native insects in check.


Two serious threats to the health of our urban forests have been monitored by staff since 2004: the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) and the Asian Longhorned Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis). No natural predators or control agents are known to control the populations of these two insects.

Gypsy Moth Monitoring 

City staff monitor the populations of Gypsy Moth along with our municipal and provincial partners. Should populations reach threshold levels that risk permanent damage to tree populations in Barrie we will consider active management options. Staff recommend property owners adopt these landscape maintenance activities to reduce the impact of gypsy moths to their own trees. Related links: Gypsy Moth (County of Simcoe); Gypsy Moth (Province of Ontario).

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Program

The EAB attacks and kills all species of white, green and red ash trees (Fraxinus). Since its discovery near Detroit in 2002, the EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees in southwestern Ontario, Michigan and surrounding states. It poses a major economic and environmental threat to urban and forested areas.

In 2006, City staff instituted a moratorium on planting Ash species on public lands in Barrie and recommended that land developers and consultants omit ash from planting on private property. As of April 1 2014, the County of Simcoe (including Barrie) has been included in the zone under regulation for EAB. Signs and symptoms of EAB-infested ash trees:

  • premature yellowing of leaves
  • dead branches
  • thinning crown
  • branches sprouting from the base of the tree
  • bark cracks
  • a “zig-zag” path under dead portions of bark, and
  • D-shaped holes from where new adults exit the tree.

If a City tree exhibits these signs please report to Service Barrie at 705-726-4242 or If you're concerned that your private tree is infested, staff suggest calling a certified arborist to have it inspected. There are several local tree companies with certified, licensed and insured arborists who can assess your trees and provide recommendations on the best course of action.

Program Phases

Phase 1: 2012 until EAB is discovered in Barrie

a) Identify specimen ash trees for treatment

b) Begin systematic removal and replacement of young ash trees on boulevards

c) Proactive planting in areas of high ash component

d) Public education on EAB

Phase 2: Post Discovery of EAB in Barrie

e) Begin bi-annual treatment of specimen ash

f) Systematic removals to include mature ash where integration with other programs create efficiencies (e.g. block pruning program)

g) Removal of all ash trees on a street or within a park where EAB has been discovered.

On March 26, 2012, after review of Staff Report re Pest Preparedness, Council adopted the EAB Program, a 2-phase project expected to last 15 years. In August 2014, EAB was confirmed within several locations in Barrie. As a result, forestry staff commenced Phase 2 of the EAB Program.

Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALHB) Monitoring 

ALHB is native to China and is considered a major pest of hardwood trees in many parts of the country. Based on the Chinese experience with this insect and the recent infestations in the United States and Vaughan, this beetle would survive and reproduce in the hardwood forests of southern Canada.

A variety of hardwood trees serve as hosts to ALHB. In Asia, the primary hosts are maple (Acer), poplar (Populus) and willow (Salix). Other hosts include; horse chestnut (Aesculus), birch (Betula), elm (Ulmus), sweet-gum (Liquidambar), ash (Fraxinus), mountain ash (Sorbus), mulberry (Morus), plum (Prunus), pear (Pyrus), black locust (Robinia), silk tree (Albizia), hackberry (Celtis), and sycamore (Platanus). All of these genera represent over 1,000 vulnerable species; the first five genera have been found to support reproducing populations in New York and Vaughan.

The ALHB infestation is considered “under control” within the Vaughan/Toronto Regulated Area, and the CFIA are monitoring the area for any further signs of its presence. However, ALHB was found in Mississauga in September 2013, prompting the CFIA to begin the process of starting an eradication program for that population. City staff continue to monitor the CFIA information provided on this pest.

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