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Parks Preparing Ash Borer Defense

Louisville Metro Parks officials are preparing for the possible spread of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer.

The insect decimates ash trees and has was recently discovered in Jefferson County. Parks Assistant Director Jerry Brown says about 13 percent of the trees near park paths are ash trees, and they will be almost impossible to protect with pesticides in case of a borer infestation.

“It…requires continuous applications of these treatments and over a period of time the success rate looks like it diminishes with larger, more mature trees,” he says. “Ultimately, the tree’s going to dieā€¦most likely.”

Brown says infected trees will likely need to be cut down, but given the relatively low percentage of ash trees, he doubts the loss will significantly change the appearance of Metro Parks.

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Local News

Firewood Regulations Aimed At Stopping Ash Borer

In an attempt to curb the spread of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer, local, state and national parks departments are regulating what kind of firewood campers can use.

The borer has spread to Jefferson County, Northern Kentucky and several nearby states. To prevent the insect from devastating ash trees in the Commonwealth, the Kentucky Department of Parks is blocking campers from bringing in firewood from other states or the counties where the borer has been spotted.

Next year, all firewood brought into state parks will have to be USDA certified. Spokesperson Gil Lawson says it’s a precaution many governments are taking.

“Both state governments and the federal government have been making rules like this as the insect has spread and similar bans are in effect elsewhere in the country,” he says.

No firewood can be brought into Jefferson Memorial Forest, either. Wood for campfires can be purchased on-site from Metro Parks.