In January 2018, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) declared the City of Winnipeg to be a regulated zone due to confirmation of the Emerald Ash Borer beetle. CFIA has the authority under the federal Plant Protection Regulations to establish a quarantine zone anywhere EAB has been confirmed in Canada. As EAB spreads in Manitoba, CFIA will expand regulated zones and establish rules for how ash wood and firewood is handled.
Q: Where has the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) beetle been found in Manitoba?
A: The presence of EAB was confirmed in November of 2017 in a mature ash tree on a boulevard adjacent to the Seine River riparian forest in the Archwood neighbourhood, south of Marion Street and west of Archibald Avenue. An investigation by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Manitoba Sustainable Development (Forestry Branch) and the City of Winnipeg (Urban Forestry) sampled about 240 ash trees and identified 13 in the same area that were infested with EAB. Those ash trees were removed by the City in the spring of 2018. CFIA will announce new regulated zones when EAB is confirmed outside the City of Winnipeg.
Q: Where is the quarantine zone for EAB in Manitoba?
A: The EAB quarantine zone or regulated area is the entire City of Winnipeg, which encompasses areas both inside and outside the Perimeter Highway. Click on the Winnipeg Regulated Area map to view the regulated area.
Q: What are the penalties for moving restricted articles out of the regulated zone?
A: The federal government has set immediate penalties (fines) of up to $1,300 for personal infractions and $15,000 for commercial infractions under the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act. Under the federal Plant Protection Act, prosecutions of infractions could lead to fines of up to $250,000 and/or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years. As of April 2018, the Province of Manitoba is working on updating provincial regulations to provide for enforcement of the federal regulations.
Q: Who is responsible for enforcing the ban on moving ash wood and firewood out of the City of Winnipeg?
A: Enforcement of the ban on moving ash wood, firewood and other restricted articles will fall to officers with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). In many respects, slowing the spread of EAB will depend largely on the voluntary compliance of Manitobans who value our trees, woodlots and forests. Ash trees are native to Manitoba, and can be found in wooded areas and along rivers and streams. There a thousands of ash trees in southern Manitoba, many planted in communities, farmyards and shelterbelts. Since a single, fertile female hitchhiking on firewood can trigger a deadly outbreak, careless movement of infested wood can quickly spread the problem to any area of the province with ash trees. Manitobans can do their part to slow the spread by respecting the ban on movement of restricted articles out of the regulated zone.
Q: What ash wood and firewood articles are subject to controls in the regulated zone?
A: The CFIA has declared the following ash/wood articles as regulated in the City of Winnipeg regulated zone:
- EAB at all stages of development
- Ash trees or parts thereof, including logs, branches, twigs, bark, chips, stumps, sawn wood and fresh leaves
- Ash nursery plants
- Ash lumber and wood packaging material
- All firewood
Q: Why is all firewood regulated and not just ash firewood?
A: Moving ash firewood is considered one of the fastest ways to spread EAB, so strictly controlling the movement of ash firewood is one of the most effective ways of slowing the spread. Movement of firewood is very difficult to regulate and enforce. Unlike nursery trees or wood products produced primarily by businesses, firewood is usually moved around by the general public. It can be difficult for most people to distinguish ash from other woods after it has been split for firewood or to ascertain where the wood came from in the first place. CFIA’s logic is that it is better to ban the movement of all firewood out of restricted area than risk EAB-infested ash being unwittingly moved and infesting a new area.
Q: What types of materials are considered “firewood”?
A: Firewood is any untreated, raw solid wood material that is suitable for burning and is used for heat production. It often has bark attached and can be cut in pieces, logs, twigs, or in similar forms or lengths. Examples include mill-ends, stumps, branches, slabs, dockings, off-cuts, edging and dunnage. Wood material obtained from trimming, pruning or cutting down trees and shrubs is considered to be firewood if it will be used for heat production.
Q: Can ash wood and firewood be treated so that it can be transported out of the regulated area?
A: Yes, CFIA allows regulated articles to leave the regulated area but only if they have been treated to eliminate EAB. The regulated articles can be treated in the regulated area (i.e., chipping ash wood where a tree is felled) or it can be moved to a CFIA-approved facility for treatment called an Emerald Ash Borer Approved Facility.
Q: What is an Emerald Ash Borer Approved Facility Compliance Program (EABAFCP) facility?
Q: How do I contact CFIA for information and for written permission for moving regulated articles?
A: The local CFIA office in Winnipeg is in charge of the regulated area in Manitoba. For written permission or to inquire about the rules, contact:
- Jason Watts, CFIA Regional Program Officer
- Email: Jason.Watts@inspection.gc.ca
- Phone: 204-259-1370
Q: If ash wood is treated and free of EAB, can I move it out of Winnipeg?
A: Yes, CFIA will allow regulated articles to leave the regulated area if they are treated to eliminate EAB. You will require written permission to transport treated regulated articles out of the regulated area. Contact CFIA for permission.
Q: What do I need to do to treat ash products to make sure they are free of EAB?
A: There are several ways to treat regulated articles: Heat treatment to attain a minimum core temperature of 56°C for 30 minutes. Kiln drying would meet this requirement. – Removal of bark plus one centimeter of the underlying sapwood. This ensures the removal of any eggs on the bark and larvae in the sapwood. – Chipping or grinding wood to a size less than 2.5 cm in any two dimensions. Larvae are about 2.5 cm (1”) long and are killed by injury or desiccation. – Processing to produce wood by-products such as paper, OSB. Processing kills all EAB larvae, pupae and eggs.
Q: What are the rules for transporting restricted articles out of the regulated area?
Q: What are the rules for transported restricted articles through a non-regulated area and back into a regulated area, such travelling the southwest Perimeter Highway to the Brady landfill?
Q: What are the rules for transporting ash wood and firewood from outside the restricted area through the regulated area and back out again, such as transporting firewood or ash logs from west of Winnipeg to St. Anne using the west Perimeter Highway?
Q: How many ash trees are there in the City of Winnipeg that will be hit by EAB?
A: There are about 356,000 ash trees in the City of Winnipeg. About one-third of ash trees are on boulevards, parks and other public lands. About two-thirds are on private property. The mortality rate for ash trees in an EAB-infested area is 100-percent unless they are treated with insecticide.
Q: How is the City of Winnipeg managing the EAB threat?
A: Now that the Emerald Ash Borer beetle has been confirmed in Winnipeg, it is no longer a threat but a fact. The City’s is using the “Slow Ash Mortality” plan (SLAM) to slow down the spread of EAB through public awareness. The City of Winnipeg has about 350-thousand ash trees, and about one-third are on public property. The City has a plan in place to treat about 1,000 ash trees with insecticide. The remaining ash trees on boulevards, parks and other public lands (about 100-thousand) will be removed as the EAB infestation progresses and infested trees begin to die off. The City plans to remove about 800 ash trees in 2018.
Q: Where are ash trees mostly likely to be found in southern Manitoba?
A: Green and black ash grow naturally in southern Manitoba, particularly in riverbottom (riparian) forests. The map below shows the Manitoba Sustainable Development’s inventory of ash trees in rural Manitoba. Red dots indicate natural ash, and you can see how red dots mark the path of rivers and streams. Riverbottom forests are ideal vectors for the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer. Ash has also long been planted in cities, towns and villages, and in shelterbelts surrounding farmyards and along the edge of farm fields. The green dots indicating planted ash.
A: The EAB infestation will last, unfortunately, until there are no viable ash trees left in the infested area to support the beetle’s lifecycle. The City of Winnipeg is estimating it will take about ten years for the infestation to pass, and in the meantime, the EAB will be spreading out of the City into rural areas where ash trees are present. It should be noted, however, that Winnipeg is the farthest north of any the EAB infestation in North America so far. Manitoba’s very cold winters may have the effect of slowing the life cycle of the maturing larvae to two years instead of just one. This could have the effect of significantly slowing the spread of EAB, but it will also extend the length of infestation.
Q: When are the high risk and low risk seasons for moving regulated articles?
A: The high risk period is April 1 to September 30. The low risk period is October 1 to March 31. The high risk period is when adults are emerging, flying, feeding, laying eggs and potentially hitchhiking on ash wood products being transported.