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City moving onto private tree pruning as Fireblight outbreak persists

Officials with the city are hoping homeowners can lend them a hand when it comes to finding, and eliminating the threat of Fireblight disease in the urban forest area.

After finishing the majority of pruning on city-owned land, officials say inspectors are now turning their attention to private property. They add that while inspectors can, for the most part, diagnose trees by looking from streets or alleyways, they will now be making an effort to contact home or property owners if they need to take a closer look.

Inspectors also have the authority to step onto private land at what they state is “any reasonable hour” to inspect trees under the Agricultural Pests Act.

Initially spotted back in mid-July, the disease primarily attacks apple, crabapple, hawthorn and mountain ash trees.

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Fireblight can cause sudden flagging and death of new growth, including burnt, or scorched looking leaves and branches. It also causes sunken cankers to spread down shoots and branches in front of the dying leaves.

You can find tips on how to rid your trees of the disease here.

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