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Education & Vigilance Themes of Invasive Species Awareness Week

April 24, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Brandon, MB – During Invasive Species Awareness Week (April 22nd – April 28th), the City of Brandon Community Services Department asks that all Brandon residents educate themselves about invasive forest pests and then be vigilant in ensuring they do not contribute to the spread of such pests to the extreme detriment of Brandon’s urban forest.

While the highly-damaging Emerald Ash Borer Beetle has NOT been found in Brandon to date, its presence has been confirmed in Winnipeg. As one of the foremost ways EAB can be spread is through the transportation of firewood, Brandon residents are being reminded: DON’T MOVE FIREWOOD – BUY LOCAL, BURN LOCAL. In conjunction with Invasive Species Awareness Week, approximately 100 ash trees along Rosser Avenue in downtown Brandon have been wrapped with a bright green educational band that warns of the dangers of moving firewood and how it can spread Emerald Ash Borer through a community. These banded trees represent merely a fraction of the thousands of ash trees that exist in Brandon and could be at risk if EAB is brought into the community. Permanent educational signage placed in Brandon’s riverside parks (Queen Elizabeth Park and Dinsdale Park) last fall also remind the public of the importance of NOT transporting recreational firewood to help prevent the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer beetle. In addition to these educational initiatives, the City of Brandon conducts an annual Emerald Ash Borer monitoring program, which includes the installation of pheromone traps in City-owned ash trees across the community each summer, as well as regular visual inspections and branch sampling done by staff.

Residents are also encouraged to do what they can to aid in the City of Brandon Community Services Department’s efforts to manage Dutch Elm Disease by respecting the provincial elm pruning ban period of April 1st through to July 31st annually, and to be aware that it is illegal to store or transport barked elm wood in any fashion. Residents who prune or remove elm trees in Brandon should dispose of such debris at the Eastview Landfill. More information about the City of Brandon’s Dutch Elm Disease Management Program can be found at http://www.brandon.ca/recreation-parks/dutch-elm-disease-faq.

And while not present in Manitoba, other forest pests such as the mountain pine beetle or the Asian long-horned beetle can be spread through the movement of infested products like firewood. Any tree suspected of being infected with any of the above noted pests should be reported to the Province of Manitoba’s Tree Line by calling 204-945-7866. For more information about the various invasive species either present in Manitoba or on the Province of Manitoba’s radar, visit https://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/forests_and_lands/forestry/forest_health_renewal/index.html.

City of Brandon - 410 9th Street - Brandon MB - R7A 6A2 - Phone: 204. 729. 2186