Stories tagged arborists

Jun
21
2009

Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald Ash BorerCourtesy USDA
Driving around Saint Paul recently I’ve seen purple boxes hanging from trees, and I wondered what the heck they were. My wife helped me connect the dots between the purple boxes and the emerald ash borer (see ARTiFactor’s article for more info on the emerald ash borer). The Department of Agriculture and the Minnesota DNR is hanging the purple boxes to track and monitor the bugs.

We use a similar system in the museum. There are bug traps placed all over the museum that are not intended to eliminate bugs, but more to trap some so we know if bugs are in a certain areas of the museum and what kind of bugs they are.

The mailbox-sized trap’s color and smell attract the bugs and allow for tracking. The boxes will be removed this fall. Bark has also been removed from two dozen unhealthy trees in order to trap and track the pests. These trees will be cut down this fall as well.

The emerald ash borer is very difficult to detect. If you have an ash tree in your yard you can check for infestation by watching for die-back in the upper third of the tree, heavy activity by woodpeckers, D-shaped holes in the bark and S-shaped grooves under the bark. If you are a Saint Paul resident and notice these signs you are encouraged to call the forestry office at (651) 632-5129 if the tree is on public property and (651) 201-6684 if the tree is on private property.

I have also seen a massive number of billboards and heard radio ads from tree care companies promising treatment and protection from the pests. However, forestry experts indicate that there is no proven method for eradicating them.

The City of Saint Paul is preparing presentations for local district councils on what the City’s next step and what steps they can take to help. Several Saint Paul neighborhoods are potentially going to be especially hard hit as ash trees were popular with developers in post World War II neighborhood developments.

Updated information on the emerald ash borer for Saint Paul, Minnesota residents.