DISTRICT 15 REMOVAL PLAN
Due to the decline in health of ash trees associated with Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation and other factors (previous storm damage, etc.), Forestry plans to remove 150 ash trees from some of the streets indicated on the attached map.
The Department of Public Works has tentatively planned to complete road reconstruction in this area in 2020 and 2021. Based on Parks and Recreation policy regarding ash tree removal and replacement in planned construction areas (attached), the removed trees will not be replaced until the boulevard restoration portion of the construction process takes place. There are several reasons tree replacement in known construction areas is postponed, including:
- Substantial regrading of streets and boulevards which can significantly impact tree health and stability.
- The potential need for replacement of private utilities during construction including water and sewer lines.
- Damage to young trees during construction often results in tree mortality.
The streets that will see the most impact from these removals are Juno, Watson, Hartford, Bayard, Scheffer, Eleanor, Syndicate and Vista. We are sympathetic to the negative impact of losing trees, and while removing trees is never a choice anyone wants to make, we have a responsibility to residents and visitors to remove public trees that pose a public safety risk. Waiting until 2020 to remove large, mature trees that are declining in health is not an option. Please note in the timeline below our plan to have a public meeting for anyone who is interested in learning more about the planned removals, as well as the broader impact EAB is having on ash trees in communities all across Saint Paul.
Tentative plan for removals and public outreach:
- Week of June 11th: postcards will be sent to each residence on affected streets with information regarding removals and a public meeting announcement.
- Wednesday, June 27th: Public meeting @ 6pm at the intersection of Scheffer Avenue & Syndicate Street.
- Week of July 2nd or July 9th: Trees will be marked with green paint to indicate removal.
- Week of July 30th: Beginning this week the trees and stumps will be removed—work will take approximately 3-4 weeks to complete.
Work to remove ROW/boulevard infested ash trees will begin immediately after the 1st of the year. Due to the continuing spread of the infestation, and growing number of infested trees, 2018 structured removals will focus exclusively on confirmed infested trees. Prior to 2017, structured removal included the preemptive removal of declining non-infested ash trees.
This week, postcard notifications will be delivered to residents from the initial list of planned removal areas indicating that work will be done on their street in 2018—this initial list is for 995 trees. The postcards have proven to be a very good direct communication technique in prior years. In addition to the direct communication, we will also continue working with the ward offices to push information out, along with our website and social channels.
We have a large volume of infested ash tree removals to complete, and just enough funding to remove, stump, and replace about 1,600 infested ash on city ROW’s. Based on feedback staff received from the City Council last year, we have made stumping and replanting a priority following removals in our 2018 plans. That being said, we fully expect to find additional confirmed cases of infested ash trees in 2018, and may likely exceed the 1,600 trees we are able to respond to within our 2018 budget. In that case we will likely have to go back to the Council in 2018 either for additional funding or a request to make modifications to the existing operational plans. As we have emphasized in the past, since infested ash trees can be become very hazardous very quickly, we need to make at least the removal of these trees a top priority.
EAB Tree Removal at Hidden Falls -2018 (updated 1/23/18)
As a part of ongoing habitat enhancement work initiated by Saint Paul Natural Resources in 2015, 37 emerald ash borer-infested green ash trees have been marked for removal this winter in Hidden Falls Regional Park. All of the trees are located between the parking lots and the River, within turf areas. They are marked with green X’s. All of the trees are infested, in poor health, and some of them are quite large.
The bid specifications have been sent to several contractors to receive quotes for this work. The removal work will be completed using State grant funding. Native trees will be replanted this spring to replace the removed trees.
The removal of EAB from the Highland National Golf Course began on Monday, January 9th. The removal of Emerald Ash on the golf courses is a result of the increase in funding that was allocated to Parks. Highland National begins today with Como Golf starting after the ski programs ends.
Two bids awarded;
- Tree Trust – Como Golf 175 trees
- YTS Company- Highland National / Highland 9 309 trees.
- 1-2 days for cutting of the trees at the 18 hole Highland National course.
- 3-4 days for staging the trees in designated areas to be chipped and processed.
- January 17 to start the chipping and grinding process.
- Tentative start date of January 23 for the Highland 9 hole.
In an effort to minimize any damage to the golf turf, the YTS company has met with golf staff and has identified and packed all appropriate access points and the routes to use for the removal.
Map of Highland Park Tree Removal – 2017
GREEN RIBBONS – Forestry Staff began placing green ribbon with the message “Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Kills Ash Trees; www.stpaul.gov/eab) around ash trees in high-volume areas in order to promote awareness and encourage people to visit our website to learn about EAB: what the city is doing to manage it, tips for homeowners with ash trees on their private property, etc. Currently, the ribbons have been placed on trees on only a few streets, but the plan is to have this campaign go citywide over the next several months. The green ribbons do not indicate that the marked trees are slated for immediate removal, but since they are ash trees they will eventually be removed as a part of the EAB management plan.
As infestations continue to advance at a rapid rate, it is important for residents to understand their role in helping eliminate safety risks that dead ash trees can present by making a plan for removal/replacement of private ash trees. The green ribbon is a helpful tool not only in showing how many ash trees there are in the city, but what they look like.
The ribbon approach is an added outreach effort alongside the targeted postcards we already send residents when trees will be removed in their neighborhood. We have posted information about the ribbons online and will continue to work to help inform residents about what the ribbons are trying to accomplish.
Forestry is currently surveying Saint Paul for EAB infested ash trees. Forestry will be marking infested ash trees for removal between January 2016 and April 2016. Click here for more information.
An informational meeting will be held as part of the Community Services Committee on Tuesday, February 24th at 6:30 p.m.at the Highland Park Community Center (HPCC). Forestry staff will be present to provide information and to answer questions regarding the process and timeline.
Removals will begin in early February (see map links below).
Stump removal to follow (asap) weather permitting—usually early spring.
Replacement trees installed by contractor this spring—door hangers are used to notify owner of tree type/care instructions.
Below are documents related to the 2015 removal.
A specific direct mail communication will go to all homeowners that will have a public ash tree removed and replanted in front/by their house. The direct mail piece will focus on notification of upcoming removals as well as give residents options for contacting Forestry with questions (as always, residents wanting more information can call our Forestry hotline at: 651.632.5129 or visit Saint Paul EAB). Beginning this year, we are updating materials and communication efforts to include multiple languages.
In addition to the notification prior to beginning removals, we will also leave a “door knocker” at every address after removals are complete, notifying the homeowner of what type of tree will be replanted and how they should care for it to ensure it remains healthy.
- Emerald Ash Borer Management 2014 Ward 3
- EAB and Cold Sumary Bullets
- More information go to http://www.mda.state.mn.us/eab
Scheduled structured removals of declining or infested public Ash trees in Highland will begin at the end of this month. A total of 207 public boulevard ash trees will be removed, and then replanted (either spring or fall depending on species – streets highlighted on the map).
Per the EAB management plan, and as Forestry has done with success over the last 3 years, we will be notifying every homeowner that will be directly affected by these removals via postcard at least a week before the removals begin (should receive their notification later this week or early next week). We have also scheduled an open house/meeting hosted by Forestry at Hillcrest Rec. Center at 6 p.m. on Jan. 28.
Following the removals, and prior to replanting, we leave a door “knocker” at each house with what species tree we plan to replant. Homeowners are given the option of calling Forestry to request a different species (but we limit some species choices so we have a diversity).
Please note, regarding the recent cold temps and the impact on EAB. Although we anticipate the cold could have some impact on the EAB larvae populations,the infestation is so widely spread already that although the cold will kill some, it will not kill all, so EAB will still have major impacts on our ash tree population. The City’s plan to stay ahead of the spread by removing and replanting as many public boulevard ash trees as funding allows, needs to continue. The potential positive of the cold, is that it may help to also slow the spread.