Residents along the north side of Addington Drive watched as City of Red Deer workers ripped up diseased black ash and replaced them with smaller trees.
Prior to the removal of the trees, the city issued notices to residents along the street that they would be coming. The trees were infected with cottony ash psyllid, an invasive pest that feeds on black and Manchurian ash trees.
A crew was digging up the diseased trees on Thursday using a Bobcat to remove them and then dig appropriate-sized holes to plant new trees.
Neighbours in the Anders community said they think it is wonderful that the city is removing the diseased trees and then replacing them with new trees.
In 2011, the city started noticing damage to ash trees and noted that the pest’s population was increasing and causing damage to the ash trees.
The psyllids are tiny insects and the larvae are difficult to see with the naked eye. An adult is about 2.54 mm long with yellow and black markings on its body and has four clear wings.
They overwinter as eggs attached to the buds and outer branches. When they hatch in the spring, they consume sap from the new leaves.
The city advises that spraying the tree with insecticidal soap may kill the pest, but timing is critical and it is best to spray as soon as leaves begin to emerge.
For more information about these pests, contact the city’s Recreation, Parks and Culture Department at 403-342-8234 or visit www.reddeer.ca/parks.