August dubbed "Tree Check Month" to detect invasive species in Canada

News release

Canadians are encouraged to check their property for pests and report any sightings to CFIA
July 31, 2019 – Ottawa – Canadian Food Inspection Agency
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and partners across North America are marking August as "Tree Check Month." Throughout August, Canadians are encouraged to check their trees and gardens, or property they frequent, for signs of insects, disease and fungi that harm plants.

Invasive species cause serious damage to our economy and environment. Early detection is always better. In recent years, Canadians have discovered some of the largest invasive threats to Canada. Pests like hemlock woolly adelgid, Asian long-horned beetle and emerald ash borer in new areas were often first found by Canadians who reported them to CFIA.

Reporting to a CFIA local office or online if a pest is discovered helps CFIA direct teams to where they are needed most and respond before pests can spread. CFIA's invasive pest cards and pest fact sheets provide information on what to look for and what to report. Those wishing to learn more about invasive pests are encouraged to follow CFIA on social media for updates on pest movements and pest reporting.


"Protecting the environment is everyone's business. Initiatives like "Tree Check Month" empower Canadians to protect their communities from habitat loss caused by invasive species. Reporting pests before they reach our farms and forests not only prevents environmental damage, but also protects thousands of well-paying jobs in agriculture and forestry."

– The Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

"Keeping invasive pests out is a team effort to protect our natural environment, forestry, agriculture and economy. Canadians play an important role in detecting plant pests and limiting their spread."

–  Dr. Bill Anderson, Chief Plant Health Officer for Canada and Executive Director, Plant Health and Biosecurity, CFIA

Quick facts

  • CFIA works with the United Nations and other partners at home and abroad to set science-based standards to protect agricultural, forest and other plant resources from regulated plant pests, while facilitating trade.

  • When a pest is found in a new area, CFIA confirms the pest's identity and works with provincial/territorial, municipal and other partners to determine the geographic spread, investigate the source and put in place measures to control and, when appropriate, eradicate the pest.

  • Invasive pests often hitchhike under the bark of untreated firewood. That's why it's important to buy and burn local or heat-treated firewood. Don't move firewood. There are also rules and best practices for industry to follow to minimize the risk of spreading invasives.

  • Some of CFIA's pests of concern include the following:

    • Emerald ash borer has spread to parts of five provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba) and has killed millions of ash trees across North America.
    • Hemlock woolly adelgid is threatening the tree cover of Nova Scotia and has recently been found in the Niagara area of Ontario. Measures are in place to contain it.
    • Oak wilt is established in the United States and, given proximity, is a risk to Ontario.
    • Spotted lanternfly has not yet been found in Canada but is on our watch list.
    • Japanese beetle is established in parts of the country. CFIA, the Province of British Columbia and the City of Vancouver are working to eradicate it from Vancouver so it doesn't become established in that province, too.
    • Box tree moth was found last year in the Toronto area. CFIA is working with the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto and other organizations to determine its distribution.
    • Asian long-horned beetle can be difficult to spot at this time of year and is being eradicated in the Toronto area.

Associated links


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