Minneapolis chops ash trees before emerald ash borer strikes

We've heard from a couple concerned residents who saw what seemed to be healthy trees meeting their fate shortly after being spray-painted with the green ring of death. Apparently the city decided to clear out the ash trees in the city before the emerald ash borer even has a chance to strike. It's kind of like killing off your potentially alcoholic friends before alcohol does it for you. Sort of.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is taking a "proactive" approach to the nasty little bug using a $98,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Emerald Ash Borers are invasive beetles that attack ash trees by feeding on the tree's inner bark. The beetles have killed more than 40 million ash trees nationwide and there is no cure.

For Minneapolis, this bug is really bad news. The city has 38,000 ash trees on public boulevards. About 21 percent of all trees in the city, more than 200,000, are ash.

The beetle has already been discovered in the Prospect Park neighborhood, so the city decided a lot of ash trees are screwed. By being proactive and cutting down 300 to 400 of them ahead of time, MPRB says it can start replanting trees so we don't suddenly have a naked city.

If your boulevard tree is doomed, you should know about it. MPRB will hang a tag on your door that looks like this explaining what's happening.

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