You may have noticed trees being removed from your local parks. Recently residents near Grosvenor Park and Dr. Gerard Herzberg Park on Acadia Drive both reported seeing trees being yanked out. The City of Saskatoon is experiencing another round of Cotton Ash Psyllid that is affecting black ash trees within the city. Last year the city conducted an inspection on all 7 thousand city-owned black ash, and other similar trees, and found that over 1000 trees are affected by psyllids and are set to be removed this year.
This summer the city will also do a re-evaluation of the existing trees to see how the winter affected the population of the psyllids. Michelle Chartier from the City of Saskatoon says residents are encouraged to keep an eye on their trees with the threat of Cotton Ash Psyllid in the city. “We’re recommending that you do some extra watering if we have drought like conditions or the tree is located where it would be under some drought stress you know depending on how much soil area the trees have.” says Chartier. The city says other cities on the prairies have also experienced significant damage from the recent outbreak. Chartier adds the downtown and neighbourhoods surrounding the core including Riversdale are the communities that are affected the most.
Psyllids are described as very small, light green to yellow green in colour. Given their size, psyllids are more recognizable due to the damage they create. Some of the damage includes white cotton within the leaflet margins, and trees that are heavily affected often have little leaves left which then twist together to form a corkscrew.