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City removing Centennial Park trees damaged by emerald ash borer

The trees in question pose a health and safety risk, officials say
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Emerald ash borer. Stock photo

The City of Orillia is beginning the process of marking 40 hazardous ash trees for removal near the Centennial Park boat launch parking as a result of the Emerald Ash Borer. The hazardous trees are being removed because their structural integrity has been impacted and they pose a health and safety risk to the public.

The Emerald Ash Borer beetle is an invasive insect pest that has now reached Orillia. The Emerald Ash Borer non-discriminately attacks and kills all species of ash trees. Staff have been using visual surveys and trapping methods to monitor the ongoing presence of the Emerald Ash Borer in Orillia as well as to monitor the effectiveness of suppression strategies. As part of the response to the Emerald Ash Borer, additional trees will be planted throughout various parks to maintain healthy, diverse tree coverage in the park system.

Over the next three weeks, these trees will be removed and chipped on-site to minimize the risk of the beetle being introduced in another area of the city. As part of the Downtown Waterfront Parkland design study, staff will be reviewing a variety of tree species to increase diversity in the downtown waterfront parks, which will aid in avoiding future mass removal due to infestations. In addition, staff will be working to address the future plans for managing the Emerald Ash Borer.

For more information on the Emerald Ash Borer, please visit here.