Brooklyn Park Ash Trees Hit ‘Death Curve’ with Emerald Ash Borer
Brooklyn Park officials say they are racing against the clock regarding treating and managing the emerald ash borer (EAB) insect.
The destructive beetle infects ash trees and spreads quickly, often killing most ash trees in its path.
“In the last five years, we’ve seen it escalate immensely,” said Greg Hoag, Brooklyn Park’s parks and building maintenance manager. “Right now, we have about 2,600 untreated ash trees, publicly owned ash trees.”
Officials say EAB is not showing any signs of slowing down.
“It’s slowly decimating the mature canopy, especially in these older neighborhoods,” said Brooklyn Park City Forester Aki Jacobs.
Jacobs says EAB walloped Hamilton Park in Brooklyn Park. He says the city has treated about 75 percent of the ash trees at that location.
“That will buy us a bit more time to plan and take down the rest of the trees,” Jacobs explained.
Infected trees are treated with insecticides, but the treatment is only good for two years.
The city is also educating the public about the insect. Some of the trees have green plastic wraps with QR codes that people can scan with their phones for more information.
Brooklyn Park estimates that it will cost the city more than $6 million in the next 10 years to treat and replace ash trees. Officials hope the situation improves soon.
“We’re hitting what they call a death curve where it’s accelerated to the point that more trees have it than don’t,” said Hoag.