Low temperatures can have a positive effect on Winnipeg trees

Low temperatures can have a positive effect on Winnipeg trees, Iryna Chyrkova

Scientists conduct numerous studies and report that low temperatures can positively affect trees and negatively affect emerald ash borers.

Last year emerald ash borers were officially confirmed to be in huge quantities in the city. Winnipeg has been fighting the bug for a long time and the struggle in the future may cost the city millions of dollars. However, scientists are doing research and they are almost certain that temperatures -30 C can kill and slow down the growth of this malicious bug.

"The cold question is one that's really interesting especially for, as it moves — we've sort of expected it's going to keep moving — and so as it gets into Western Canada, that question of what does the cold do, and what does the climate do, is really interesting," said scientists.

Recall that studies in 2014 showed that temperatures below -32 C can kill up to 90% of bugs.

However, scientists express their concerns.

"Even that 10 per cent is enough to keep that population going and to keep killing trees, they're still there," one of the scientists, Chris MacQuarrie, said. "If it gets cold and it knocks the population back every winter, but they're still there, it might make the population grow slower."

"Before they found emerald ash borer in Winnipeg, if you'd asked me if cold would kill emerald ash borers I probably would have said yeah … that would have killed it," MacQuarrie added. "But ... it can probably handle a Winnipeg winter, an average Winnipeg winter. When you get these extreme cold temperatures, it might kill some of them — but it's not cold enough for long enough to kill all of them."

Scientists hope to receive definitive answers to all questions related to emerald ash borers in the near future. However, it is likely that their research will last another year or two. A cold and short summer can also have a positive effect on the fight against this bug because it will not have time to grow up.

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