Information provided by:
Urban Forester Supervisor
City of Saint Paul
Parks & Recreation Department
With the amount of snow this winter and the declining condition of the ash trees, it would have been impossible to do an adequate clean-up at the time of removals. We will have a crew revisiting streets beginning this Wednesday, April 3rd to do a complete sweep of boulevards, sidewalks, streets and where necessary, front yards. We are working with the Public Works Department on coordinating this clean-up with their spring street sweeping schedule.
Crews are currently working on the original list of ash trees from late December/early January. Removal of these trees is scheduled to be completed in the next couple of weeks. The ash trees on Ford Parkway are tentatively scheduled for April 18th-19th—a temporary street closure is necessary there. Forestry is in the process of identifying and preparing notification for a second round of removals which will include about 350 trees. They will work to get those sites identified on the interactive map on our website which has proven to be a useful tool: Saint Paul Boulevard Ash Tree Management Program. Experts in the field collectively agree that management strategies for EAB should not be changed due to the cold. While some percentage of the EAB population surely did succumb during the coldest hours, it is agreed that populations will quickly rebound.
Following street clean-up, stump removal will begin in mid-April. This is expected to last through summer.
Streets will be surveyed for planting this summer (after spring planting is complete), and new trees will be planted beginning this fall and into spring 2020.
Structured Removal approach
Consistent to 2018, structured removal (SR) will focus entirely on blocks of confirmed infested trees. Prior to last year, non-infested trees that were in decline from poor health or structural issues were included the SR approach. However, the number of infested trees has increased substantially, and because they pose a potential public safety risk, those trees must continue to remain the priority.
Timing and communication for Structured Removals
Postcard notifications have been sent to residents in the initial planned removal areas indicating that work will begin in early 2019. The interactive map on the EAB website (www.stpaul.gov/eab) has been updated to show the initial identified removal areas for 2019. The anticipated start date for infested tree removals is Jan 22, 2019. It is imperative that we begin as early as possible due to the volume of trees this year that will need to be removed (over 1,000 confirmed infested trees slated for the initial 2019 removal period). The postcard has proven to be a very good communication technique in prior years. Despite the difficult nature of the work, communicating EAB management plans to impacted residents has always been a key component. Due to the significant increase in number of infested trees, and the increase in removals staff will be working to complete, we will need to be flexible in our timelines for stumping and replanting.
We understand and appreciate that the community values the many benefits that the urban forest provides, and we want you to know we (especially our team of professional foresters) are sympathetic to the negative impact of losing trees. We look forward to replacing our urban forest with a variety of new trees.
If you have any questions moving forward, please feel free to contact Rachel Coyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-632-2431.