In May 2009, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture enacted an emergency quarantine in Hennepin County after the Emerald Ash Border (EAB) was discovered in the area. Since this quarantine, Richfield has been proactively preparing for the potential discovery of the beetle in the city limits. In March 2016, EAB was discovered in Richfield. Use this page to learn more about the Emerald Ash Borer and what you can do.
WHAT IS EMERALD ASH BORER?
The Emerald Ash Borer is an exotic beetle that was imported accidentally into the United States on packing material that originated in Asia. EAB larvae feeds on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients. EAB has already killed tens of millions of trees in the states where it has been detected. Other than Minnesota, the beetle has been detected in 21 other states and Canada (Ontario and Quebec).
TREES ON THE BOULEVARD (PUBLIC)
Public trees, including those on the boulevard and city parks, are under the care and responsibility of the City. The City's Forestry Division has been preparing for EAB since Hennepin County was quarantined. The Forestry Division adopted an EAB Management Policy that includes:
- Chemical injection of certain trees
- Removal of boulevard ash trees
- Planting replacement trees of different varieties
This plan was created to prevent a large number of removals if and when EAB was found in Richfield. Between 2010 and 2016, Richfield decreased its boulevard ash tree population from over 3,000 to less than 1,000, while maintaining the overall public tree population.
If you suspect your boulevard ash tree is infested with EAB, please contact the City of Richfield Forestry Division at 612-861-9190.
TREES ON PRIVATE PROPERTY
Trees on private property are the responsibility of the property owner. Read the Q&A below to learn how to identify an ash tree, determine if it is infested, and what to do if you suspect you have an infested or diseased tree on your private property.
How do I identify if I have an ash tree?
- Ash Tree Identification (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)
- How to Identify an Ash Tree (pdf) (Minnesota Department of Agriculture)
How do I know if my ash tree is infested?
Signs of an EAB infestation include:
- Canopy dieback
- Increased woodpecker activity/damage
- Epicormic shoots
- Bark splitting
What do I do if my ash tree on private property is infested?
If you suspect you have an infested tree on your property, we recommend you contact a private tree contractor to inspect your tree; a list of contractors is located here. Contractors will typically inspect your tree for free. The City does not recommend one contractor over another and suggests residents use these criteria when selecting a contractor:
- Contractor should be International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified
- Contractor should be insured
- If work is recommended, contact at least three (3) companies for quotes
City Code requires infested or diseased tree(s) be removed before it becomes hazardous. You have three options for removal:
- Remove the tree yourself;
- Hire and pay for your own contractor; or,
- Hire a contractor and request the cost of the tree removal be assessed against your property taxes.
Is there assistance for the treatment and/or removal of insect-infested or diseased trees on private property?
Yes. A resident may request the cost of treatment and/or removal be assessed to their property taxes. Contact Public Works at 612-861-9170 with questions on the tree assessment process.
OTHER HELPFUL LINKS
- EAB Status Map (Minnesota Department of Agriculture)
- Emerald Ash Borer (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)
- Emerald Ash Borer Information Network
- Mistaken Identity - Minnesota Insects Often Confused with EAB (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)