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Dawn Sommers, spokeswoman for the park board, which manages the city’s public trees, said the agency does not treat ash trees with insecticide on its own, and does not pay for treatments requested by homeowners, because ash make up about 20 percent of the city’s tree population and that would be too expensive. Homeowners or groups who wish to have boulevard ash trees treated can do so at their own expense by hiring a licensed and permitted tree care company. The Park Board asks that those who’ve arranged for treatment to notify the Forestry Department at 612-313-7710 in order to coordinate with the agency’s ash borer response.
Emerald ash borer has killed tens of millions of trees in 19 states and two Canadian provinces since it arrived in North America about 20 years ago, apparently in wooden shipping crates. It was first found in Minnesota in St. Paul in May 2009, and infestations have been found in Ramsey and Hennepin counties in the metro area and Houston and Winona counties in the southeast corner.
Ash trees have been nearly wiped out in areas around Detroit, where the ash borer is believed to have made its U.S. arrival. Minnesota in all has about 900 million ash trees.
Bill McAuliffe • 612-673-7646