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Two Ontario provincial parks infected by invasive emerald ash borer

Tree removal has significantly changed the parks' landscape

January 22, 2024  By Turf & Rec

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources photo

The invasive emerald ash borer has put two of Ontario’s provincial parks at risk of losing a multitude of trees. The insect has affected about 10,000 trees at the Mara and McRae Point provincial parks near Orillia.

Ontario Parks and a contractor are working to mitigate the situation as best as possible.

The insect, which originated from Asia, was first detected in Ontario in 2002 and has since spread across North America, destroying 99 per cent of ash trees it has encountered.

Infected trees at the affected provincial parks are being removed before they become a hazard to the public. Once infected, the trees are subject to falling, posing a risk to people and structures.

Efforts are underway to removed the affected trees before camping and day use season begins. Parks officials say the removal of trees will significantly change the parks’ landscape.

To date, Bass Lake Provincial Park, which is located nearby, has not been affected by the emerald ash borer.

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