I was living in St. Paul in the days when there were mature elm trees growing on the boulevards. They formed an arch over the street. Then came dutch elm disease. The trees got infected and were removed and then burned to prevent further spread. Dutch elm disease causes wilt and death in all species of elm native to Minnesota.
St. Paul replanted. In the 80’s and 90’s they planted many ash trees. . I remember one hot dry summer we used a hose to water a young ash tree that didn’t look like it was going to survive. it did though and it is still there and disease-free.
As the emerald ash borer has spread through the city trees are being removed. You might notice the green rings painted around the trees. Those trees are slated for removal. If you look at the trunks you will also see light patches on the bark where the borers have damaged it.
This exotic borer is a native of Asia. It was first found in Minnesota in May 2009. There are around a billion ash trees in Minnesota. Trees are often killed in about four years, although it can take as little as two years. To learn more about the ash borer and diseased trees go to the University of Minnesota extension page.
I miss the three ash trees that were removed from a neighbor’s yard and I’ll miss the trees that were removed yesterday.
The tree in front of my house is a basswood tree planted in the 1990’s. There are at least 8 of them on the block. They are all healthy but that could change.
The city will be replanting where ash trees and the stumps have been removed, starting in the spring of 2023.