Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a small, emerald green, wood-boring beetle native to China and Eastern Asia. Though it is not harmful to people, the EAB is known to attack and kill all North American species of true ash (Fraxinus spp.) trees. This does not include mountain ash trees (Sorbus spp.), which also grow throughout Markham. This metallic green beetle is extremely difficult to detect and is a significant risk to Canada's trees and forests. There are no natural predators in North America to prevent its spread. EAB has been, and will continue to be, responsible for killing tens of millions of ash trees. The City of Markham will lose and replace more than 17,000 trees from 2012 to 2017 due to this insect.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is the federal agency responsible for regulating the EAB and confirming infestations. To prevent the spread of EAB and invasive insects and diseases, do not move ash wood or any firewood out of regulated areas.

2016 Action Plan

Markham is committed to further develop and implement its approved EAB Management Plan as science and technology adapt to the challenging and changing destruction this pest is leaving behind.

Learn more about Markham's EAB Management Plan:

Next Steps:

  • Removal of about 2,000 dead and hazardous trees
  • Treatment of ash trees of adequate size and condition
  • Removal of 4,000 tree stumps
  • Continue removal of dead ash and other hazardous trees in woodlands and natural areas
  • Replanting of over 6,000 trees

Tree Removal Plan

Trees Removed 2017 to 2019

* The above chart does not include woodlands and natural areas

Tree Planting Plan

The Replanting Program is being managed by our City's arborists to ensure we have an urban forest that is strong and diverse. It is Markham's goal to create a forest composition that is resistant to any future pests.

It is important to note that the City cannot accommodate individual requests for tree species selection. In some cases, certain sites may not be replanted due to considerations including poor planting space, or overhead or underground utilities.

All newly-planted trees on boulevards and in manicured park areas are supported by a quality control process to ensure the best possible results. These trees are under warranty for two years, after which the City will be responsible for their care and maintenance.

Trees Replanted 2013 to 2017

** The above chart does not include woodlands and natural areas

Ash Trees in Woodlands and Natural Areas

Markham staff have conducted risk assessments of all woodlands and natural areas in your community for dead ash or other hazardous trees. Approximately 4,500 trees have been identified for removal. Residents may identify these trees, which have been marked with a painted orange band around the tree trunk. Trees with an orange dot in these areas have been identified for pruning.

Please be aware of contractors working near or in naturalized areas. Some pathways may be temporarily closed for your safety.

Logs, branches, debris and woodchips will be left by contractors in these areas. Over time, this material will break down and provide nutrients to the soil and forest floor. While some areas will look very different now, natural regeneration will happen and help to enhance our urban forest.

Ash Trees on Private Property

As a homeowner/landowner, it is important for you to know about managing the EAB on your private property. Read our brochure, What You Need to Know about the Management of Emerald Ash Borer to learn about ash tree identification and how to hire a reputable tree care service.

The City has an efficient tree removal permit process to support residents in their efforts to remove dead and hazardous trees as quickly as possible. This involves three easy steps:

  1. Submit an Online Tree Permit Application or download and complete the PDF form and submit it in person at the Customer Contact Centre at Markham’s Civic Centre.
  2. Take a photograph of your tree(s) and surrounding property that shows their location in proximity to your house and include this image with your completed application form.
  3. Wait for a permit to be issued to you by the City – normally within two weeks from the date the fully completed application is received.

Ash trees on private property are the responsibility of the property owner. Residents are urged to have remove all dead and hazardous ash trees on their private property. These trees pose a high risk to people and property should branches or trunks break. Please seek out a professional to help you in the removal process; prolonging the decision may cost you more

Treatment of City-Owned Ash Trees

Residents may, at their own expense, submit a request to the City to have a qualified contractor undertake treatment of a city ash tree not in Markham's Treatment Program. If you are interested, complete the Agreement for Contractors to Perform TreeAzin™ Injections on City-owned Ash Trees.[PDF]

If you have independently treated the city-owned ash tree on the boulevard near your property, please call the Customer Contact Centre at 905.477.5530 to inform the Forestry department. City staff continue to implement the EAB Management Plan and may remove the tree or treat the tree twice in one season if they do not have this information on record.

How to identify ash trees:

How to identify symptoms of the Emerald Ash Borer:

Information about the Emerald Ash Borer from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency: