Ash tree pruning season a little later this year

As fall puts an end to the growing season, a beetle that attacks and kills ash trees will go dormant until spring. The emerald ash borer is present in Minneapolis and is inactive between Labor Day and May 1 most years. This year, however, has been unusually warm, and the U.S. government lists the emerald ash borer active season until Oct. 1. If you have an ash tree in your yard that needs pruning or if you would like to take it down, Oct. 1 through May 1 is the best time.

The emerald ash borer is a major concern because it has caused the deaths of millions of ash trees in 15 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 borer.

If you have space in your yard to plant a tree, you can still plant one in the fall. 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.

Information on emerald ash borer for residents who have ash trees is available at www.mda.state.mn.us/plants/pestmanagement/eab.aspx. To learn more, visit the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board ash tree web pages.

Published Sep 6, 2011