Bay City area park says landscape will dramatically change without hundreds of infected trees

The Emerald Ash Borer.

Hundreds of trees infested with insects will soon be torn down changing the landscape of a popular Mid-Michigan state park.

The Emerald Ash Borer has killed more than 70 million Ash trees in the state and now the Bay City State Recreation Area is its latest victim.

The infected ash trees make up about 75 percent of the trees in the state park. Local experts say only eleven have a chance at being saved and 540 have to be taken down.

"We inject them with a pesticideâ?¦it's very effective at controlling the Emerald Ash Borer but it's treating individual trees one tree at a time," said Bay County Entomologist Alicia Wallace.

Wallace says the invasive beetle takes several years to completely kill a tree by eating the conductive tissue under its bark. It first appeared in Michigan in 2002.

â??As devastating as it was to me, I image it's gonna be worse to the people who come out and use this. We're gonna dramatically go to a sunny park versus a shady park," said park manager George Lauinger.

Crews will start cutting the trees down in September and will cover the cost by selling the logs.

Since there are so many trees, it could take until October for the project to be finished.