CARROLLTON, Ky. – The Kentucky Department of Parks will permit a limited harvest of ash trees at General Butler State Resort Park because of an infestation of the emerald ash borer, an invasive species that kills ash trees.


The parks department is working with the Kentucky Division of Forestry on the project, which will take place during winter months when the park has fewer guests.


The proceeds from the harvest will go back to the park to plant new trees and help pay for treating a limited number of ash trees with insecticide. Because of the large number of ash trees at General Butler, the park system could not afford to treat all of them. It also considered doing nothing, but that would leave a large number of dead trees and would pose a risk to public safety.


The Department of Parks and the Division of Forestry conducted a public hearing at General Butler on this issue on Sept. 16.


A bid has been awarded to Atwood Lumber and Mats of Carrollton to remove the ash trees, and work is expected to begin this week. The work may resume during the winter of 2014-2015, depending upon weather.


The selective harvest should not interfere with normal park activities, and the park will remain open.


The emerald ash borer is an invasive species from Asia that was first discovered in the U.S. in 2002. The insect larva lives under the bark of ash trees, feeding on the water and nutrients, eventually leading to the tree’s death. Small trees die within one to two years, and larger trees die within three to four years. All types of ash trees can be infected.

The insect was first found in Kentucky in 2009 and has been found in about 28 counties, mostly in the north-central part of the state.


For more information about the emerald ash borer, visit www.emeraldashborer.info





The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 49 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our website at http://www.parks.ky.gov



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