Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a non-native beetle introduced from Asia which attacks and kills ash trees (Fraxinus spp.). It was first discovered in Michigan in 2002, and has since spread to many east coast and Midwest states, it continues to spread west. The larvae feed on ash trees inner bark, killing the tree within a few years depending on the trees size.
In June 2021, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) confirmed an EAB infestation in the City of Anoka. The discovery was made near the South East corner of the city. A map of infested areas can be found on the MDA’s EAB Status Map
Anoka is in an area that is considered “generally infested” by the MDA. Minnesota has an estimated 900 million ash trees, potentially in danger. The City of Anoka has an estimated 11,000 ash trees located on public and private land.
Property Owners Encouraged to Take Action Now
Property owners are responsible for trees on their property. The City of Anoka is responsible for trees on the boulevards and in public parks and open spaces. If left unprotected, ash trees will be killed by EAB.
If you have one or more ash trees on your property, you should consider whether you want to try to treat them or remove them. This Decision Guide (PDF) can help you determine the best course of action for your ash tree(s). You can consult a professional arborist or contact Public Services to request a Certified Tree Inspector to examine your tree(s). The University of Minnesota offers advice on How to Hire a Professional Arborist.
Option 1: Removal
If an ash tree is unhealthy or you don’t plan on treating it, then the tree should be removed following Minnesota Department of Agriculture guidelines for EAB-infested areas. These guidelines suggest ash tree removal be preformed during the EAB Dormant Season (when the beetles are not actively flying), which is October 1st – May 1st.
Please do not remove ash trees during the EAB Active Season (May 2nd – September 30th). In this time period the potential spread of EAB is high, as the tree is disturbed or wood is moved around. If removal is necessary during the active season, special precautions should be taken such as chipping the wood to less than 1” on site or completely enclosing the wood during transport.
If removal of an infested ash tree is delayed, the costs to remove that tree are likely to increase because it’s more dangerous to remove an ash tree heavily infested by EAB. The trees become extremely brittle when heavily infested. If hiring out for tree removal, residents must hire a city licensed tree contractor (PDF).
Preferred Vendor for Ash Removals
Pioneer Tree Service is the preferred vendor for private Ash tree removals for 2022. They were selected through a competitive bidding process for public ash tree removals and stump grinding on City owned ash trees in Boulevards, Parks, and other City owned property. Residents are encouraged to contact Pioneer Tree Service for a quote to remove ash trees on their property. Be sure to hire a tree contractor that is licensed to work in the City of Anoka.
Option 2: Pesticide Treatment
If an infestation is caught early in an otherwise healthy ash tree, an appropriate pesticide treatment will kill EAB and prolong the life of the tree. Residents interested in this method should hire a licensed contractor. There is currently no cure for this pest, but the treatments can prevent infestation and protect the tree for a limited time.
The City recommends a trunk injection method, opposed to a soil or bark application method. The standard trunk-injected EAB treatment will protect trees for two years. Learn more about pesticide treatments by reading the MDA’s EAB: Homeowners Guide to Selection, Use, and Environmental Protection (PDF)
Help Stop the Spread of EAB
Anoka County is on the MDA’s list of EAB quarantined counties. The quarantine restricts the movement of ash trees, ash limbs and branches, ash stumps and roots, ash logs, ash lumber, ash wood, or ash bark chips from a quarantined county into a non-quarantined county. In addition, hardwood firewood of any kind (ash, oak, etc.) may not be moved from a quarantined county to a non-quarantined county. More details about the quarantine can be found here Emerald Ash Borer – Minnesota Quarantine
Firewood presents a very real treat to our urban forest. Insects can hitch a ride on firewood anytime it’s moved. Here are some tips to using firewood so that you don’t accidentally introduce insect pests into new areas:
- Use local or heat-treated firewood – Look for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture certified logo on firewood. Here’s a list of Certified Firewood Producers in Minnesota
- Don’t bring it with you – buy firewood once you reach your destination
- Use it up – when you purchase firewood, use it up and don’t bring it to another area
MN Department of Natural Resources 'Preparing for Emerald Ash Borer' Grant Recipient
The City of Anoka is a recipient of $100,000 grant award for the removal of public Ash trees* and 1:1 replanting of removed trees. Meaning for every one tree removed with the grant funding, one tree needs to be planted. The City will be replanting multiple species of trees based on recommendation from the DNR. Trees will either be bare root or containerized; ball and burlap trees will not be planted as part of this grant program. The city will be constructing a "gravel bed" to house the bare root trees through the summer; the gravel bed helps to encourage the growth of fine roots which aids in the success rate of a transplanted tree. These trees will be planted in late summer or fall 2022. Utilization of bare root trees provides a cost savings to tax payers. The gravel bed will be reused year to year to help the city establish an affordable boulevard tree nursery. Containerized trees will also be planted beginning in the spring as part of the grant. All projects planned as part of this grant will to be completed by June 2023.
If you had a boulevard ASH tree removed on your property in 2022 and would like a replacement, please contact Public Services.
*Public Ash trees are trees located on the boulevard within the street right of way (usually within 10' of the back of a curb or road edge but this can vary from street to street), trees planted at city buildings, and trees within the parks and along the trails.