EAB Preparedness Plan
Years before EAB was discovered in Minneapolis, our Forestry Department fully activated an EAB Preparedness Plan [PDF], which sought to minimize the environmental, economic, and aesthetic impact on the city’s urban forest. Proactive measures included removal of the infested trees, establishment of trap trees, continued surveying of ash trees in the area and city-wide and continued removal of ash trees that were damaged and defective.
We have been actively cooperating with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) in the EAB battle for several years.
Canopy Replacement Plan for Ash Trees
Once EAB was found and its population began to increase, we developed and implemented a Canopy Replacement Plan for Ash Trees that provides for the scheduled replacement of ash trees. This proactive replacement approach allows our Forestry Department to replace the urban forest canopy with a diverse mix of tree types.
Waiting to remove ash trees until they become infested is not an option because the trees will die in such large numbers that will be impossible to keep up with removal and replacement. Proactively removing trees before they die reduces the risk of damage and injury caused by limbs falling from dead and dying ash trees. We replace a small percentage of ash trees at a time instead of replacing all the trees on a block at once to minimize the impact.
We choose replacement trees with the goal of growing a more diverse urban forest. Diversity will help ensure that future generations will not go through a similar canopy loss. We will plant two or three tree types (for example, oak, honeylocust and ginko) on any given street or block. Where there is space, we are also planting “buddy trees near existing ash trees in parks to start growing the next canopy.
We try to remove less than 20% of the tree canopy on a block during a single season. Scheduled replacements are already taking place with ash trees that are defective and declining or growing in compromising conditions. The next wave of replacements will include replacing smaller ash trees and select replacement of larger ash trees in heavily populated ash areas.
Marking and Notification
If a boulevard tree in front of your home is scheduled for removal, we will hang an information tag on your front door to let you know why the tree was marked.
We mark boulevard trees as follows:
Green Paint Ring
The tree has Emerald Ash Borer and will remain marked for five days. After five days, we will remove the tree as soon as possible.
Green Paint X
We will remove the non-symptomatic tree as part of the canopy replacement plan for ash trees.
The tree is not currently scheduled for removal. We wrap non-symptomatic public ash trees with informational ribbons to raise awareness for the canopy replacement plan for ash trees.
We only use green to mark Ash trees.
What You Can Do
If you have an ash tree on your property (not on the boulevard), you’ll need to plan for the future. You may decide to do nothing and simply enjoy your tree until it eventually becomes infested and dies. You may decide to treat your tree with an insecticide to keep EAB from killing it. To help guide your decision making process we suggest you read “Emerald Ash Borer: Homeowner Guide to Insecticide Selection, Use, and Environmental Protection” [PDF] and “Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Potential Side Effects of Systemic Insecticides Used To Control Emerald Ash Borer.” [PDF] These publications along with recommendations from a consulting arborist will provide beneficial information to consider when making a plan for the private ash trees in your yard.
Treating Public Boulevard Trees
We do not chemically treat ash trees. If you would like to treat a non-symptomatic boulevard ash tree in front of your home with insecticide, you must hire a licensed and permitted tree care company. These companies know the proper way to apply insecticides in the safest way possible.
You must pay for any and all treatments.