Hold off pruning ash trees until fall 

Even with our late spring and chilly temperatures, conditions are now warm enough for beetles that attack and kill ash trees. Emerald ash borers are present in Minneapolis and are normally active from May through Labor Day. If you have ash trees in your yard, avoid pruning them this time of year or moving any part of an ash tree (firewood, branches, etc.) while the pests are active. Inadvertently moving the pests helps them spread to uncontaminated areas.

Emerald ash borers are a major concern because they have caused the deaths of millions of ash trees in 13 states, and approximately 20 percent of the tree canopy in Minneapolis consists of ash trees. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has issued a state quarantine on firewood, ash trees, and ash tree products in Hennepin, Ramsey, Houston and Winona counties to slow the spread of emerald ash borers.

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

Research has proven that trees are a valuable investment and improve urban quality of life. Healthy trees:

·         Increase property values.

·         Help improve air quality.

·         Reduce greenhouse gases by absorbing carbon dioxide.

·         Save energy.

·         Keep the city cooler.

·         Provide homes for wildlife.

·         Help manage stormwater.

For more information on emerald ash borers, visit the Minnesota Department of Agriculture emerald ash borer Web page or the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s emerald ash borer Web page.

Published May 13, 2014