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Thousands of trees to be removed from Simcoe County provincial parks

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Crews are busy cutting and removing thousands of trees at provincial parks in Simcoe County.

"Emerald ash borer has infected ash trees throughout the area," explained Scott Thomas, Mara and McRae provincial parks superintendent.

"We are basically taking things down safety-wise for the community - for people who come here to camp and make sure things are safe for the public," added Kyle Fisher with Fisher Tree Services.

The emerald ash borer is an invasive beetle species that infests and kills ash trees by burrowing into their bark and disrupting their nutrient flow. It has been spreading across North America, killing millions of trees.

Thomas explained that leaving the trees standing would lead to excessive biomass in the forest, posing risks of damage to other trees and hindering forest regeneration.

It's estimated that if infected trees aren't removed, the emerald ash borer will kill 99 per cent.

With an average of roughly 200,000 visitors each year, the parks are scheduled to open for the season in May.

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