Homeowner's Guide to Emerald Ash Borer

Situation Awareness Level: CRITICAL​

Emerald ash borer (EAB) kills ash trees native to North America and has now spread across all of Saint Paul. Tree mortality is becoming increasingly apparent and when ash trees begin to die, they dry out and become brittle and hazardous. The time for residents to take action is NOW! The longer you wait, the more hazardous the tree will become to you, your neighbors, and your property and the more expensive it will be to manage the problem. 

The purpose of this guide is to inform residents of strategies for ash tree management.

What should you do about Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)?

  1. Determine if you have an ash tree:
  2. With all of Saint Paul now infested to varying degrees, you should decide now what to do with your ash tree before it is too late. Unfortunately, there are very few options for managing emerald ash borer (EAB):Insecticidal trunk injection for EAB
    • Chemically treating your ash tree with an insecticide is a viable option if...
      • You value your ash tree and it is still in acceptable condition.
      • Your ash tree shows less than 30% decline in canopy (Note: some ash trees can be saved with up to 50% decline but chances are much reduced).
      • You want to buy more time to manage your ash tree.
      • You are committed to paying for repeat treatments for as long as you want to save your tree (depending on chemical chosen, treatments need to be re-applied every 1 to 3 years).
    • Consider removing your tree if...
      • ​You are not committed to paying for insecticide treatments.
      • Your ash tree is unhealthy, has poor structure, or is planted in an area unsuitable to its growth.
      • Your tree is already too damaged by emerald ash borer (EAB), i.e., >30% dieback. Treating the tree with insecticide will kill emerald ash borer (EAB), but likely will not save your tree if there is already too much damage. 
      • Your ash tree is dying, remove as soon as possible to avoid expected increasing costs and added exposure of damage to you and your property. DYING ASH TREES POSE A SAFETY RISK to you, your neighbors, and tree service companies.
      • You want to avoid use of pesticides in your landscape.
      • You want to get a jump at replanting for a new and diverse generation of trees.
  3. If you decide to treat your ash tree...
  4. Call the Department of Safety & Inspections for a current list of Saint Paul Licensed Tree Care Companies at (651)-266-8989.
    • ​​These companies are licensed by the city to ensure they have the proper insurance coverage and certification requirements. 
    • Most of these companies are able to either remove or treat your tree.
    • It is recommended to get at least two or three quotes for work as costs can vary.
  5. Consider planting a new tree in your yard.

Note that there is a quarantine regulating the movement of ash wood (logs, brush, etc.) between infested and non-infested counties in order to slow the spread of emerald ash borer (EAB). Click here for more information on quarantine boundaries and regulations.