Image of a path through the Coronation Park forest

The City of Ottawa’s Forestry Services team is proactively reaching out to request assistance protecting trees in our neighbourhood this summer.  Trees in our community are likely to be impacted by the Spongy moth (LDD) in 2022.

Spongy moth or Limantra dispar dispar (LDD), formerly known as Gypsy moth, is an invasive forest insect found in Ontario. Recent observations and surveys in the Ottawa area indicate that populations are increasing and that the current outbreak will likely last for two to three years. During severe outbreaks, trees and shrubs may be completely defoliated. Although most trees can produce a new crop of leaves over the summer, repeated defoliation can cause trees to decline. More information on Spongy moth including identification can be found at Ottawa.ca/spongymoth.

The City of Ottawa is carefully monitoring the progress of the outbreak and has developed a multi-faceted Response Plan for the Spongy moth (LDD). This plan includes monitoring, tree protection, communications, and community outreach.

As part of the 2022 Spongy moth response plan, the City is exploring various outreach activities for community groups to assist with mitigating the impacts. 

During its caterpillar stage, Spongy moths feed on the leaves of trees causing defoliation. In June and July, burlap can be installed around tree trunks to form a trap where caterpillars congregate. Frequent disposal of the caterpillars from the trap reduces the number of insects feeding on leaves and helps to protect trees from the infestation.

The City is seeking support from community groups to install burlap on trees in City parks in your area. Participating community groups will receive a bundle of material which includes a roll of burlap (300 ft x 4ft / 92m x 1.2m), twine, and instructions on how to install the burlap and dispose of the caterpillars.  Community groups are asked to oversee the installation of the burlap with volunteers or may choose to distribute burlap “kits” for residents to install independently.  Currently, the City will not be distributing burlap to individual residents.

More information on how to install the burlap will be distributed to your group electronically and will be available on Ottawa.ca this spring. Guiding information on how to prepare individual burlap kits will also be shared.

Should your group wish to participate in this initiative, you will be asked to provide a point of contact where your burlap bundle will be delivered the week of April 25. The point of contact does not need to be present to receive the burlap kit.

To participate in the program, please complete this request form by Friday, April 8th. Click on the link below.  The request form is available in both official languages (see top right corner to change the language of the form).

Burlap Distribution Request Form

If you have any questions, please visit our website or send your inquiry to forestryengagementforestier@ottawa.ca

Thank you for your support in protecting our City’s trees!

Regards,

Forestry Services

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