Rock Glen “looks pretty bare” after emerald ash borer attack
Visitors to Rock Glen Conservation Area are going to get a stark visual reminder of the damage the emerald ash borer can do.
The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority recently cut more than 100 trees at the popular Arkona park all of which had been infested with the emerald ash borer.
“We basically had to do it for public safety,” says Ian Jean, the authority’s Forestry and Land Stewardship specialist. “Some of trees were dead and some were alive and had been infested with the bore.
“There are trees planted to replace them but it is going to look bare for a while there,” Jean admits.
Stumps can be see just about anywhere you look near the landmark falls. Piles of logs can be found at the entrance and further into the park. “We only cut them from the areas which posed a safety risk for the public,” says Jean adding there were about 100 trees of all size cut. “It is a lot for one conservation area.”
Jean says the emerald ash borer appeared in Sarnia several years ago and ate its way north several kilometers each year. “It’s fairly bad in north Lambton and northwest Middlesex now,” says Jean.
Conservation authority General Manager, Tom Proutt, says ash was chosen as a replacement for elm decades ago when Dutch elm disease destroyed thousands of trees. “There is really not much we can do about it,” he says adding the still living ash trees which are infested with the bug which can be harvested for cash.
Jean says there is a way to protect the trees from the ash borer with insecticide “but it is kind of cost prohibitive” since each tree must be treated more than once.
Jean adds next year the authority may have to go through the Parkhill Conservation Area to deal with the effects of the ash borer.
– Heather Wright