Minneapolis, MN (July 18, 2013) – Minneapolis is tying green ribbons on ash trees around the city to call attention to the extent of the threat from emerald ash borer. The public awareness campaign, organized by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, reminds residents how much of the urban forest is about to be cleared away, either by city foresters or the emerald ash borer. The green ribbon doesn’t indicate immediate removal of a tree, but informs residents about where to go on the park board website to learn more about the city’s ash borer strategy.
The ribbons are proving a vivid illustration of potential loss posed by the emerald ash borer. About 1,000 trees could have ribbons by the end of summer. The ribbons are an effort to educate and help residents become more proactive about the threat of the ash tree pest and how to work together as a community to prevent pest invasion as well as replace lost trees.
Some cities and public agencies, including St. Paul, are treating ash trees with insecticide in hopes of preventing a massive tree die-off, but there is strong community resistance to the use of pesticides. The result has been to shift the program more to removal and replacement, although the city will not remove more than 20% of the trees in one block during a year. Nearly 40,000 ash trees on streets and in parks are scheduled to be removed over the next 5 to 10 years and replaced with other trees species.
Source: “Tying Green Ribbons on the Old Ash Tree,” by Bill McAuliffe for the Star Tribune