Metro Government officials are warning that the Emerald Ash Borer could do significant damage in Louisville. The invasive pest, which infects and eventually kills ash trees, has been in Kentucky since 2009, and the Parks Department will hold a forum about the insect tonight.
As their name suggests, the insects are emerald-colored and infect ash trees, eventually killing the plant. Jerry Brown is the Metro Parks Assistant Director.
“We’re studying options for treatment as well as addressing the overall impact on the natural environment,” he said. “It’s going to be something that’ll be challenging for Metro Government, for Metro Parks, as well as the citizens.”
Brown says the parks department plans on protecting some of the city’s ash trees from the ash borer, but there’s no way they’ll be able to treat them all.
“For example, you look at Metro Parks, we’ve got 14,000 acres or so of parkland,” he said. “And there’s no way the public can afford to go out and treat all the trees and protect against this. So there will be a natural process, if you will, of ash trees dying, particularly in woodland areas, natural areas that are mixed forest.”
Metro Parks is partnering with a company called ArborJet that offers one type of tree treatment for Emerald Ash Borers. ArborJet has already treated about 60 trees in the city’s parks for free, as an experiment. Brown says Louisville isn’t recommending residents use ArborJet over any other treatment, but the Massachusetts-based company is co-sponsoring the event. The community forum is 7:00 tonight at the Louisville Memorial Auditorium.