Emerald Ash Borer
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture recently discovered three Ash trees infested with Emerald Ash Borer in the northern portion of West St. Paul, adding it to a list of Dakota County cities dealing with the invasive pest. The City is continuing to work the the Department of Agriculture to determine an accurate scope of the infestation in West St. Paul.
A recent public-tree inventory determined West St. Paul’s boulevard trees are comprised of 40% Ash. A long-term approach to preserve quality trees and replace declining Ash will be implemented. A variety of species will be used to replace Ash trees to minimize the possibility of a large-scale issue in the future.
With the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) through Dakota County, the City of West St. Paul created a comprehensive EAB Action Plan in 2015 to deal with the invasive species upon its arrival. In an effort to minimize the impact on the community both financially and aesthetically, the plan includes a combination of removal and treatment.
The best course of action for trees that are significantly infected is to remove and replace them with a different species. Injection treatment for uninfected or minimally damaged trees has been shown in other communities to be very effective in preservation. The treatment of quality Ash trees will ensure the City does not lose a significant portion of public trees in a short time frame. Treatment will also mitigate the fiscal costs associated with the plan to be spread out over a number of years.
The City of West St. Paul will begin implementing the EAB Action Plan this Spring as soon as an accurate scope of infestation and the most effective starting point are determined.