Hold off pruning until FALL

May 11, 2015 (MINNEAPOLIS) Conditions are now warm enough for beetles that attack and kill ash trees. Emerald ash borers are present in Minneapolis and are normally active from May through Labor Day. And even though we’ve seen some rain recently, remember that your yard and boulevard trees need watering any time it doesn’t rain an inch in a week – especially when they’re young.

Ash trees

Homeowners who have ash trees in their yards should not prune them this time of year or move any part of an ash tree (firewood, branches, etc.) while the Emerald Ash Borers  are active. Inadvertently moving the these pests helps them spread to uncontaminated areas. Emerald ash borers have caused the deaths of millions of ash trees in 13 states, and approximately 20 percent of the tree canopy in Minneapolis consists of ash trees. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has issued a state quarantine on firewood, ash trees, and ash tree products in Hennepin, Ramsey, Houston, Olmsted, Anoka, Dakota, Fillmore and Winona counties to slow the spread of emerald ash borers.

Not sure if you have an ash tree in your yard? See ash tree identification tips here.

For more information on emerald ash borers, visit the Minnesota Department of Agriculture emerald ash borer Web page or the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s emerald ash borer Web page.

Trees need an inch of water every week all the way through fall

Minneapolis yard and boulevard trees need an inch of water every week throughout the fall. Lack of water can make trees vulnerable to insects and disease and cause permanent damage to young and old trees alike. Trees up to five years old are especially susceptible. In any week that it rains less than one inch, yard and boulevard trees need to be watered. The Park Board plants and mulches boulevard trees but relies on residents or businesses nearby to water them.

An effective way to water a tree is to turn on a slow stream of water (just so the hose is weeping) for a few hours. Watering in the evening after dinner time is most effective since it minimizes evaporation, and trees tend to take most of their water during the night. Watering one tree weekly costs only about $3 for 23 weeks – the entire summer-fall season. For people who lose track of when they last watered a tree, a good way to remember is to water trees on the same day trash is picked up.

Protect our Minneapolis quality of life

Taking care of our trees means protecting our Minneapolis quality of life. Healthy trees are beautiful, increase property values, help improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gases by absorbing carbon dioxide, save energy, keep the city cooler, provide homes for wildlife and help manage stormwater. If you have space in your yard to plant a tree, consider getting one going so it can get a start on providing shade and making a better quality of life in your neighborhood. The larger the tree, the larger the benefits.

For information on tree care and the urban forest, call the Park Board’s Forestry Department at 612-313-7710, email forestry@minneapolisparks.org or visitwww.minneapolisparks.org/trees.