If you look closely at the towering trunks of Toronto's ash trees - you will see battle scars. They are small wounds from the war against the Emerald Ash Borer, as the city continues its offensive against the bothersome beetle.

Crews are trying to save some 4,000 mature trees this year alone, as millions of tiny beetle larvae tunnel beneath the bark and cut off the lifelines to the leaves.

“You can get isolated dieback in one little branch, or you can get overall complete decline in the tree,” said Forest Health Care Inspector Josh McMeekin.

Tree maintenance crews are spending the summer injecting the ash trees with an insect growth inhibitor that will be ingested by the beetles.

“When we inject the tree, wherever stage the larvae is either in, or mature beetle, it stunts its growth at that stage,” said Trevor Thorn, general manager of Trugreen lawn care.

The city has catalogued 13,000 ash trees and hopes to save 8,500 of them from the Emerald Ash Borers.

“Once they hatch, the larvae will go in, start tunnelling in the bark,” said McMeekin. “Eventually it basically just cuts out the vascular tissue so the leaves can’t get any water.”

But he says this year’s cool, moist spring has done wonders to help replenish the ash canopy.

“The trees just loved it, they took off.”