Hundreds of ash trees being cut down in Guelph

Over 800 ash trees in a popular Guelph park will be cut down in a matter of days.

The city says they're a hazard and need to be removed from Preservation Park, in order to stop the spread of an invasive species.

"Dead trees can pose a hazard for people who use our trails and use our areas," said Gene Matthews, Parks Operations and Forestry, the City of Guelph.

A highly destructive, wood-boring beetle is responsible for the dead trees, and it has the potential to kill all of Guelph's untreated ash trees.

Known as the emerald ash borer, the beetle eats away at the wood under the bark and ultimately kills the tree.

In order to prevent this, parts of Preservation Park will be closed while more than 860 trees are being cut down.

Trails in the park will also be closed during the tree removal.

The park is expected to reopen by next week, but after that, crews will continue their work throughout the city in different parks and wooded areas.

"We have about 10 thousand trees that need to be removed.  We are partway through our efforts," said Matthews.

It is part of a ten year plan to manage the emerald ash borer infestation that includes treatment, removal and in some cases replacement of city owned ash trees.

It's expected to cost more than $10 million over five years.