Is it safe to take fall ash leaves from the Toronto area to the Barrie area for composting purposes as there are some dead ash trees in my neighbourhood? I believe that the Emerald Ash Borer is likely within the tree rather than the leaves, but is there any danger of transporting the Emerald Ash Borer with the leaves?
The emerald ash borer is a highly destructive invasive beetle which affects all species of ash (Fraxinus) by cutting off the flow of water and nutrients within the trees by feeding underneath the bark. In Toronto alone, almost 10% of our urban canopy is or will be affected by the insect.
The most common way for the emerald ash borer to spread is through people moving infested materials such as firewood, logs, branches, nursery stock, chips or other ash wood. To reduce any chance of the insect spreading, I would not recommend transporting any part of the tree from one city to another even if it is just the leaves.