05/13/2012 03:44 EDT | Updated 07/13/2012 05:12 EDT

Montreal West cuts tree waste pickup to fight ash borer pest

Municipal authorities are weighing options to safely collect yard waste in light of a federal edict issued to limit the spread of the emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle.

The exotic beetle was first identified in Montreal in 2008, prompting federal officials to impose strict rules surrounding trees and foliage to contain the exotic pest.

Montreal municipalities can no longer collect branches, trimmings and other tree-related waste from property owners.

In Montreal West, residents have been told to hold on to their tree waste "until we figure out a way to handle this," said town mayor Beny Masella.

"Right now, our public works is not set up to store [waste] for our residents."

The emerald ash borer (agrilus planipennis fairmaire) has killed scores of ash trees in Ontario and the United States.

The green insect ravages ash trees by laying eggs in its bark.

Its larvae feeds off the cambium vegetal lining, slowly pinching off sap veins, which eventually starves the tree.