Gypsy Moth Call for Action

 In Community, Environment, Letters

Request for immediate actions to help with the current infestation of gypsy moth caterpillars to save vulnerable trees in Manor Park

Dear Mayor Watson and Councillor King,

Many areas across the City of Ottawa are currently experiencing high-level infestations from gypsy moth caterpillars. In our neighbourhood of Manor Park there are numerous trees that are completely defoliated, including large city-owned street trees. This infestation is of particular concern for the Manor Park neighbourhood as we are beside the Beechwood Cemetery where important and valuable trees that add to our municipal tree canopy are greatly affected.

Based on experiences from other Ontario municipalities, it is only through a coordinated, comprehensive, and integrated approach that gypsy moth infestations can be controlled and managed. Your support is therefore important in mitigating this current infestation in an effective manner.

First, we request that you work to inform City of Ottawa residents and provide Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques to help with this year’s infestation.

Second, the City should institute a larger, highly promoted public education program to prevent future gypsy moth infestations. Every effort should be made to ensure that residents know of the severity of the issue and can take concrete steps to protect local trees.

Third, given climate change and the pressures of urban intensification, the City of Ottawa must do more to protect our urban forest moving forward. In this regard, the City needs to make greater efforts to:

  • Add more diversity to the local tree canopy, planting native trees and including the top ten that were recommended by Diana Beresford-Kroeger to Ecology Ottawa.
  • A more robust planting plan that allows for a stronger diversification of the age of public trees and future planning as trees complete their life cycles along with better growing conditions for urban street trees such as use of deep root silva cells.
  • Better care and investment in trees during their first five years of life as this investment in our urban forest needs to be better managed from the start along with more maintenance programs for our older trees.
  • Better protection of existing trees during construction, including more inspections of construction sites in regards to the protections they provide for trees.

We do not want our tree canopy weakened. We ask that the City of Ottawa take concrete action now so that we do not lose more of our urban forest. We look forward to your response on this pressing matter.

 

Sincerely,

Elizabeth McAllister

Manor Park Community Association

CC Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Ontario
CC Minister of Natural Resources Canada
CC National Capital Commission
CC Beechwood Cemetery
CC National Military Cemetery contact at Canadian Forces

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