BEACONSFIELD, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Oct. 23, 2014) - In its fight against the emerald ash borer, the City of Beaconsfield has adopted a new by-law that respects individual property rights, its citizens' sense of responsibility, sustainable development and protects the quality of life and property values in Beaconsfield.

"In North America, the emerald ash borer infestation has led to the disappearance of 80 million ash trees since 2002. It has destroyed all the trees on entire streets and is now, more than ever, endangering our region. In 2015 we will embark on a joint effort of the City and its residents to protect our urban forest and ward off the emerald ash borer", said the Mayor of Beaconsfield, Georges Bourelle.

With the adoption of a by-law specifically targeting its urban forest, Beaconsfield combines its efforts with the Montréal Metropolitan Community initiative under which all 82 municipalities shall establish a concrete plan to fight against the emerald ash borer by taking regulatory measures.

The emerald ash borer is an insect from Asia that attacks ash trees and kills them within two to three years. In Beaconsfield, where the trees are particularly mature and splendid, the ash borer endangers 20% of the urban forest.

"In this context, if the ash borer were to devastate our city, we would experience a significant decline in quality of life because of an increase in heat islands, a decrease in air quality, damage to the aesthetics of our streets and neighbourhoods, as well as soil erosion and a loss in property values", explained the Mayor of Beaconsfield.

The by-law was adopted to protect Beaconsfield's urban forest while respecting the rights of its residents.

"We recognize that this is a costly battle for our residents, and have therefore adapted the by-law to allow for utmost flexibility without restricting its efficiency", specified Mr. Bourelle.

Property owners may fell a prescribed number of ash trees per year, except during the ash borer's propagation period between March 15 and October 1. In addition, all ash trees with a diameter of less than 15 cm measured 1.5 metres above ground may be felled without a certificate of authorization. Any felled tree with a diameter of more than 15 cm must be replaced by a tree of another species at least 2 metres tall.

In order to limit costs to owners, the City intends to inspect both public and private ash trees. Any ash tree located within 100 metres of an EAB infested tree must be felled or treated in order to provide maximum protection to the urban forest. The City will consider further measures to protect ash trees during the coming months.

Contact Information:

City of Beaconsfield
Office of the Mayor
514 428-4410