Protecting Our Urban Landscapes



For the past decade, ISI has been on the front lines of the battle against the infestation of the Asian Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) beetle in North American communities. This small insect is an introduced and invasive pest that has been responsible for the loss of millions of Ash trees in Canada and the United States. Lacking the natural diseases, predators and parasites that control the EAB populations in Asia, North America’s ash trees are dying at a rate of 99.9% in infected areas. This seriously threatens a large portion of our urban landscape and biodiversity, along with effecting the loss of natural habitats and food for many other species.


The answer for the EAB infestation problem came with the application of pesticides such as

Tree-äge® and TreeAzin®. The core of the problem comes from the EAB larvae, which cut off water and nutrient flow when they feed off the inner bark of the ash tree. It is very difficult to discover an infestation until after the damage has already been done and the trees are lost. Several municipalities have taken the necessary step to save their ash trees by implementing a program of treating the trees with trunk-injected insecticides such as  TreeAzin® and Tree-äge®.




The role ISI plays in all of this is in making sure the treatment programs the municipalities have invested in are fully and properly carried out. The only way to do this is to test the treated trees themselves, within days after the application, to make sure the active ingredient in TreeAzin® (azadirachtin) or Tree-äge® (emamectin benzoate)  is present in the leaves. ISI is the only commercial laboratory in Canada qualified to assay for azadirachtin in leaves and can also analyze the presence of emamectin benzoate in leaves. ISI also carries out audits of the containers contractors use to apply pesticides, in order to ensure the proper concentration is present and the product is within correct specifications for application. It is vital to the survival of the rich biodiversity within our urban landscapes that all municipalities take action on the EAB problem and they make sure the action they take is fully and properly carried out. With careful attention to proper treatment, the spread of this infestation can be halted and its devastating effects can begin to be reversed.