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Structured Removal

 2015 Structured Removal of Ash Maps
Ward 3 Map Wards 5 & 6 Map

What is Structured Removal of ash?

In response to the growing emerald ash borer infestation, The City of Saint Paul has, since 2010, employed the  "Structured Removal" of ash in order to strategically reduce the total percentage of ash trees on boulevards and in parks throughout Saint Paul.

How are trees selected for structured removal?
Ash The focus for structured removal is on areas that were planted in a monoclture of 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. In general, ash trees become brittle and drop many branches while reaching maturity and are a source of common complaints from residents.

Why are you removing live trees?

Most of the ash trees selected for structured removal are still alive but in a state of irreversible decline. Ash trees in this declining state will be removed at an increased rate in the future as EAB continues to spread.  Delaying the necessary removal of ash trees from the urban forest will only compound the cost and labor of removal for future generations.

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?
Saint Paul Forestry currently treats high value ash trees on boulevards and in parks that meet the following criteria:
  • Within one mile from a known EAB infestation
  • Between 10-20" diameter at breast height (DBH)
  • In good health with no known defects
  • No visible conflicts with utility wires, street lights, or roadway clearance.


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

In Saint Paul, EAB infested trees are promptly removed and will continue to be removed as they are identified. Based on the experiences of highly infested cities and towns in Michigan and Ohio, the City of Saint Paul has learned that the complete eradication of ash trees from a known infested area only causes EAB to spread further.

What happens once the ash trees are removed?
  • Ash trees are removed between January and April.
  • Tree stumps are removed in the spring months as soon as the snow melts 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 information on the type of tree as well as how to care for and maintain the tree. 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 contacting Saint Paul Forestry by phone 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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