Emerald Ash Borer poses real threat to local trees

By Chris McGill - bio | email
Posted By Mike Dever - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Emerald Ash Borer is a native of Asia, and has now migrated to the United States killing thousands of Ash trees throughout the northern states and southern Canada. The pest has finally made its way south to Kentucky. Recently the bug has been confirmed in northeast Louisville around the Ford Truck Plant on Chamberlain Lane.

Although only one Emerald Ash Borer has been confirmed in Metro Louisville, there's surely more to come and the threat to our area's ash trees is real. Jefferson County is one of 19 other counties in Northern Kentucky to have a quarantine on ash wood being taken out of the county.

Metro Parks has thousands of Ash trees throughout its parks system. Jerry Brown, assistant director of Metro Parks, says they've been preparing for this pest for several years but still expect a high loss.

"Ultimately, I believe we're going to lose 13 percent of our tree canopy within the parks, but we will have other diversity and as we lose those, we'll be planting non susceptible species like the Oaks and so forth."

The Metro Parks system has been preparing for this unwanted pest for a couple of years by no longer planting Ash trees.

Representatives of Waterfront Park say there's over 300 Ash trees in their park alone and all are being treated for this exotic pest. However, Jerry Brown says that treatment is expensive and there's no guarantee that it will save the trees.

The Emerald Ash Borer is expected to kill most Ash trees in this area over time, since it has no natural predators.

Click here to find out more about the Emerald Ash Borer and the options you may have to help save your trees.

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