Emerald Ash Borer Management
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The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive beetle from Asia that was discovered in the United States during the summer of 2002 near Detroit, Michigan. EAB larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees and disrupt the tree‘s ability to transport water and nutrients, killing the tree. Once an ash tree is infested, it has almost zero chance of survival unless it is treated in time. EAB populations can grow exponentially each year because the beetle has few natural predators and our ash trees have limited natural defenses. When EAB is not managed, annual ash tree deaths can quickly overwhelm the ability to remove dead and dying trees.
If you’ve noticed more tree removal activity in your neighborhood, you’re not alone. An Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation was confirmed in Vadnais Heights in the summer of 2019 by the MN Department of Agriculture. Vadnais Heights is now well within what the Minnesota Department of Agriculture refers to as a “Generally Infested Areas” for Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).
Many ash trees in Vadnais Heights are on public property, including along streets and in parks. Ash trees along city streets and within city parks are being removed as time and available budget allow. Thoughtful replacement of removed trees is already occurring.
The city recently hired Rainbow Tree Care to undertake an ash tree survey for all parks and public property. This survey is important to establish the overall quantity, size and condition of trees that the city will address. This information will help to inform future budget needs and level of urgency for scheduling removals. Generally, it is expected that removal costs will exceed available budget, perhaps significantly. Once removal of hazardous trees is programmed and budgeted, replacement efforts will be developed. Eventually, a full tree species survey will likely be undertaken to assist with proper species selection with the goal of establishing a healthy, diverse variety of trees.
The City Council adopted a management plan on August 4, 2021.
Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan (PDF)
Diseased trees on private property are the sole responsibility of the property owner. Once a tree has died, city ordinance requires prompt removal in most situations. Residents are encouraged to seek the advice of an arborist at a tree removal company. Sometimes treatment is an effective alternative. An average sized ash tree can be usually be treated for about $200, and the treatment lasts a couple years. Removal costs vary widely and residents are encouraged to obtain multiple quotes. If you have a dead or dying tree, please address the problem as soon as possible. Please visit the below resources for more information on how to slow the spread of EAB in our community.
Emerald Ash Borer Program (Minnesota Department of Agriculture)
EAB Status Map (Minnesota Department of Agriculture)
Emerald Ash Borer (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)
Emerald Ash Borer Information Network
Mistaken Identity - Minnesota Insects Often Confused with EAB
(Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)
Community Park trees marked with orange tape, removed in 2021
Diseased tree in Community Park due to Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald Ash Borer Beetle. Photo by: David Cappaert, Bugwood.org