Treat Now!

Emerald Ash Borer Damage in MinnesotaEmerald ash borer is in the Twin Cities now. The first discovery in Minnesota was in St Paul during 2009. Since then, it has been detected in two other cities near St. Paul. EAB has been found in Ramsey County in the St. Anthony neighborhood of St. Paul and the city of Shoreview, in Hennepin County in the Prospect park East River Road neighborhood of Minneapolis, in Houston County in the Upper River Fish and Wildlife Area and the city of La Crescent, and in Winona County in Great River Bluffs State Park. Due to the discovery of EAB and to slow its spread, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has quarantined Hennepin, Houston, Ramsey, and Winona counties.

There are an estimated 998 million ash trees in Minnesota. If a severe emerald ash borer infestation occurs, 100% of these ash trees could be lost. Imagine the huge impact this would have on our surroundings!

Ash trees are a vital component of the Minnesota landscape, both rural and urban:

  • They provide shelter for wildlife and enhance the beauty of our environment.
  • Ash trees also provide economic benefits for Minnesotans: they help reduce cooling costs, increase property values, and reduce storm water run-off.

The loss of these benefits and the death of so many of our trees would have a severe financial consequence and a devastating impact on the vitality of our natural landscape.

An estimated 3 million ash trees can be found in the Twin Cities metro area alone – somewhere between 10 – 40 % of the total tree population.. Based on models of cities already devastated by emerald ash borer, it is expected that 1.8 million ash trees in the Twin Cities will die by 2019.

Rapid tree decline and tree death occur within 4-8 years after initial emerald ash borer infestation. Once our ash trees are gone, it will take a generation or more to reestablish current tree populations.

At this time, ash tree death due to emerald ash borer has been limited to localized neighborhood areas, so treatment and removal projects have been minimal. However, based on emerald ash borer patterns established in other urban centers in the Eastern U.S., we know that now that they’ve been discovered here, it is just a matter of time before their population explodes.

How you can take action for trees in the Twin Cities

One of the keys to saving ash trees from emerald ash borer in the Twin Cities is to raise awareness. It is much more effective to plan for and take action against emerald ash borer before massive numbers of trees are lost.  Choosing which trees will be saved and which will not ahead of time empowers us and puts us in control of our own destiny.

Save Our Shade tree ribboning program

Currently in place is the Save Our Shade ribboning program. The ribboning program involves placing a yellow caution ribbon around ash tree trunks that warns the tree is at risk from emerald ash borer. Ribboning trees is a powerful way to visually demonstrate the impact emerald ash borer will have on your neighborhood’s trees.

Anyone can host a ribbon program in their community – it’s easy and free! Rainbow Treecare will train you and others in your community on how to raise awareness about the potential ecological devastation that’s headed our way. Now is the time to act. Our urban landscape depends on you.

Contact Troy Mason, director of Save Our Shade, for more info on hosting your own community ribbon program. Call (612)741-5650 or send an email to: tmason@thetreegeek.com.