What is Structured Removal of ash?
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?
In the past, the focus for structured removal was on areas that were planted in a monoculture of ash trees. Ash trees that were declining from non-EAB related causes such as drought, salt injury, mechanical injury, and structural defects, were selected for structured removal. In general, ash trees become brittle and drop many branches while reaching maturity and are a common source of complaints from residents.
Due to the continued spread of the infestation, and to the general infestation level city-wide, structured removal now encompasses all ash trees. Structured Removal blocks are identified during routine annual surveys and consider factors such as tree condition, density of ash populations on given blocks, and proximity to schools, recreation centers, churches, libraries, and parks.
Why are you removing live trees?
Once an ash tree becomes infested with EAB, it generally takes 3 to 5 years for the tree to die. By removing these trees before mortality occurs, the City is reducing the number of dead and potentially hazardous ash trees in the city. Also, the removal of these trees becomes much more dangerous when they are dead or nearly so. The safety of the citizens of Saint Paul as well as the crews maintaining the urban forest are a top priority.
Why not save the trees with insecticide treatments?
- Treatment of public trees was employed as a means of slowing the population growth of EAB.
- Insecticide treatments have been used on select public property ash trees since 2011.
- No new ash trees are able to be added to the treatment program, and those treatments are being discontinued.
- Trees that were last treated by the City in 2020 and 2021 have already received their final treatment.
- Trees last treated in 2019 will receive one final City administered treatment in 2022.
- All ash trees previously treated by the City will be on schedule for removal in 2023 or 2024.
Please note: this only applies to trees treated by the City and will not impact any public ash tree being treated on a regular interval by the adjacent property owner via the established permitting process.
If you have an ash tree adjacent to your property the City will reach out through the mail with further information. A copy of the mailed letter and the mailed postcard can be viewed by clicking the links below.
Saint Paul Forestry - Letter to Residents with City Treated Ash Trees
Saint Paul Forestry - Postcard Follow-Up