It’s no-pruning season for ash trees

As trees are budding and flowers are blooming, a beetle that attacks and kills ash trees is also coming out of dormancy for the season. The emerald ash borer is present in Minneapolis and is active from May through Labor Day. If you have an ash tree in your yard, it is important not to prune it this time of year or move any part of an ash tree (firewood, branches, etc.) while the pest is active.

The emerald ash borer is a major concern because it has 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 beetle is known to be in Minneapolis, so it is important not to help it spread. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has issued a state quarantine on firewood, ash trees, and ash tree products in Hennepin, Ramsey and Houston counties to slow the spread of emerald ash borer.

Research has proven that trees are a valuable investment and improve urban quality of life. Healthy trees are beautiful, increase property values, help improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gases by absorbing carbon dioxide, save energy, keep the city cooler, provide homes for wildlife and help manage stormwater. If you have space in your yard to plant a tree, consider getting one going so it can get a start on providing shade.

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

For more information on emerald ash borer, 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 12, 2011