ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — St. Paul officials plan to remove about 1,300 ash trees to help in the fight against the emerald ash borer.

The St. Paul Parks and Recreation department will target blocks on the city’s east side that show the greatest degree of decline and leave healthy trees untouched. They will begin removal Monday.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press report reports that ash trees make up about 30 percent of the city’s trees.

The green, beetle-like insect was discovered in the neighborhood in 2009. Michigan and other states have grappled with millions of dead ash trees as a result of infestation, and city officials hope to be more pre-emptive.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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