10/17/2014 16:07 EDT | Updated 12/17/2014 05:59 EST

Point-Claire bans new ash trees to fight emerald ash borer

The city of Pointe-Claire says nobody on its territory is allowed to plant new ash trees any more, as a measure to help cut down on the emerald ash borer beetle infestation.

The mayor of Pointe-Claire announced that the new by-law came into force today.

“The emerald ash borer doesn’t care if an ash tree is on public or private property, which is why we need to pool our efforts to make sure we’re effective,” wrote Morris Trudeau, mayor of Pointe-Claire, in a press release.

“We’re aware that these rules are stringent, but we have a duty to protect Pointe-Claire’s urban forest.”

The insect has been ravaging trees throughout the island of Montreal this year.

Citizens who disobey the by-law face fines up to $1,000, while for businesses it can be as high as $2,000. 

Pointe-Claire says anyone who has a dead ash tree in the city has to cut it down, and anyone with an ash tree that has 30 per cent dead branches must get rid of it as well.

However, pruning or cutting down the trees is only allowed between October 1 to March 14, because there is less risk of spreading the insects during this time of the year. 

The city is providing residents with a space to dispose of the branches and tree debris.

Tree residues will be processed to prevent the ash borers from spreading through firewood, which the city says is the primary source of infestation.

Residents can contact the public works department at 514-630-1230 to make an appointment.  

Click here to download a copy of the bylaw.