Friday, June 4, 2010

City of Minneapolis Takes a Position on Chemical Treatments of Ash Trees

The decision to apply chemical treatments to ash trees is a personal choice that is largely influenced by economic considerations and concern for the health of the surrounding environment, as well as by our emotional attachment to certain trees. Even then, it is a decision that should be made thoughtfully and with the benefit of having read what is known about the different treatment options

However, many have taken the position that it is best not to further expose communities to the risks associated with pesticides - that we should focus our efforts on planting diverse trees in available spaces and plan for the future of a healthy urban forest. Will the City of Minneapolis have any influence on the approach we take in Saint Paul to address the loss of our ash trees?

The Minneapolis City Council recently passed Resolution 2010R-268:

“Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by The City Council of the City of Minneapolis:

That the City of Minneapolis urges residents to protect the city's soil, water, flora, fauna and human health during the emerald ash borer infestation by refraining from applying insecticides to trees on private property.

Be It Further Resolved that the City of Minneapolis encourages residents to join the City in focusing our efforts and resources on growing the next generation of the City's urban forest, filling open spaces on private and public property with diverse trees, bush and native grass species, replacing both infested and non-infested ash trees with other tree species, and caring for our entire urban forest with careful monitoring and watering of all yard and boulevard trees.

Be It Further Resolved that the City strongly cautions Minneapolis residents not to use pesticides that are applied directly to the soil or sprayed on the tree bark or canopy, due to the high likelihood that the chemicals will drain into surface or groundwater and the increased risk that these applications pose to children, pets, beneficial pollinating insects, and nearby plants. Adopted 5/28/2010”

Here are just a few sources for more information on Emerald ash borer-related topics:

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Minnesota Department of Agriculture

University of Minnesota Extension

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