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Structured Removal

 Completed Ash Structured Removal and RSVP 2010-2013* Maps: 
Map of 2010-2013 Ash Removals
*Residential Street Vitality Program
 2014 Structured Removal of Ash Maps
Ward 3 Map Ward 5 Map Ward 6,7 Map

What is structured removal of ash?

The City of Saint Paul employs structured removal programs for strategically reducing the total percentage of ash in parks and on boulevards in the urban forest of Saint Paul in response to the emerald ash borer.  

How are trees selected for structured removal?

Ash trees that are declining from non-EAB related symptoms such as: drought, salt injury, mechanical injury and structural defects are selected for structured removal.  Ash trees, in general, become brittle and drop many branches as they reach maturity and are a source of common complaints for residents.
Why are you removing live trees?

Most of the ash trees selected for structured removal are still alive, but are in a state of decline that is irreversible.  Declining ash trees in Saint Paul will be removed at an increased rate in the future as EAB continues to spread.  An estimated 30% of Saint Paul's urban forest is comprised of ash; far higher than
the recommended level.  Delaying the inevitable removal of ash trees from the urban forest will compile the cost and push the problem down the road for others to manage.

Example of an ash tree removed in Highland Park as part of
the structured removal program. This tree was technically
“alive”, but inner portion of the tree was decayed and hollow.

Why not save the trees with insecticide treatments?

The Saint Paul Forestry Unit currently treats high value ash trees on the boulevard that meet these requirements:
  • Ash are located within one mile from a known EAB infestation
  • The trees are between 10-20" diameter at breast height (DBH)
  • The tree is of good health with no known defects
  • The tree has no visible conflicts with utility wires, street lights, or roadway clearance
The City of Saint Paul employs insecticide as just one tool to assist in slowing the spread of EAB and as a means of response to a more manageable time and expense. Treatment of boulevard ash trees is not employed as a means of saving trees for the long term. Treatment for saving the life of an ash is a lifetime financial commitment with treatments every two to three years.

If this is about EAB, then why aren't you removing trees in the known EAB infested areas?

EAB infested trees are promptly removed and will continue to be removed as they are identified. Limiting removal of ash trees in the known infested areas is a strategy to contain EAB to a smaller area. Saint Paul has learned from experience in Michigan and Ohio that eradication of ash from a known infested area only causes EAB to spread further. Saint Paul also employs insecticide treatment of high value ash located within the known EAB infested areas to try to reduce EAB populations.
What happens once the ash trees are removed?
  • Ash trees are removed during the winter months, January to April.
  • Tree stumps are removed in the spring months, once the snow is gone and the ground has thawed.
  • A variety of new trees with a minimum of two species per block are planted to replace the ash trees, generally at a ratio of 1 to 1, following the general boulevard tree planting criteria.
  • The Urban Forester replanting the project will leave a door tag at all homes receiving new boulevard trees with the tree type, tree care, and tree maintenance information.  Saint Paul Forestry annually hires landscape installers to replant boulevard trees in the spring from the time the ground thaws until June 15, and in the fall from October 15 to the time the ground freezes.
  • Property owners receiving new boulevard trees may request one tree watering bag per boulevard tree by calling Saint Paul Forestry, at (651)632-5129.

Example: 2009 Structured ash removal on W. California Avenue. 
New trees were planted following the ash removal.
(photo date: summer 2012)

How do I make the right decision for my ash tree(s)?

Visit the City of Saint Paul's Homeowner's Guide to EAB.

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