Stop Ash Borer, Don’t Trim Your Trees

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The City of Minneapolis is urging homeowners to not prune their ash trees because the emerald ash borer is coming out of dormancy for the season.

The beetle is active from May through Labor Day and it attacks and kills ash trees.

The city says it’s important not to prune ash trees this time of year. They also said not to move any branches or firewood from an ash tree while the pest is active.

The ash borer has destroyed millions of ash trees in 13 different states. Nearly 20 percent of the trees in Minneapolis are made up of ash trees.

Not sure if you have an ash tree in your yard? See ash tree identification tips here.

  • jon

    I have an ash tree I want taken down. Hopefully the city condemns it for me soon.

    • Jen

      Is your tree on the city boulevard? Many cities are reducing their ash population to diversify their urban forest. If your tree is on your property, they would only condemn it if it was a hazard or infested with EAB, and you probably would have to pay to have it removed. To protect your lawn, the best time to remove tree is in the winter.

  • Castros Kitten

    Guess I’ll hope a friendly commenter explains this better than the reporter. Why? Does the open spot let the bugs out? Or do they look for a new ash tree with open spots to infect?

  • Bonnie S

    The obvious answer would be that any movement of the trees would spread the emerald ash borer around. If a tree is pruned, the borer could be spread to other trees.

  • Bonnie

    The obvious answer would be that any movement of the trees would spread the emerald ash borer around. If a tree is pruned, the borer could be spread to other trees. If you have further questions, your county extension office should be contacted. They have trained people there to help with any questions you might have.

  • EAB Hunter

    Cuting and pruning trees causes them to release stress signals. Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) hones in on those stress signals and targets those trees. The thought is that trees under stress are an easier target for the EAB because they are weaker. They are therefore prefered over healthy ash trees that may have better chemical defenses. Cutting and pruning your healthy tree during EAB flight can cause the females to lay thier eggs on your tree rather than a different tree.

    Officials intentially harm a few ash trees in known EAB areas by girdling them so the EAB will target those trees instead of the more healthy trees in the area. They then cut the trees down during the winter and destroy the EAB living inside. It isn’t a fool proof plan but it does help the reduce the number of EAB in the area and postpone their eventual spread.

    In addition, moving infested ash wood (limbs, branches, logs) is the number one way EAB is spread to a new area. People cut down a dying tree in their yard and decide to bring it to the cabin for firewood – thus spreading EAB to a new area.

  • jen

    The larvae and pupae of EAB lives under the bark of ash trees. If you removed an infested branch or tree and moved it to a new location, adult EAB could emerge from the branch and create a new infestation. Trees infested with EAB usually show no signs or symptoms for up to 3 years, which is why it is important to not trim your trees during the adult flight period. There are three known EAB infestations sites in Minneapolis, but others could be out there.

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