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Ash Tree Replacement


Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been confirmed in Martin County just to the south. In the future, it is likely EAB will cause problems here in Blue Earth County. Understanding a little about this pest is key to making wise decisions in replanting trees on your property.

EAB has gradually spread westward since its introduction from Asia in the early 2000's. EAB is extremely adept at killing all species of ash (white, black, and green). For example, near an active EAB infestation in Michigan, 99% of ash trees with a stem slightly wider than a finger (2.5 cm) were killed. Because of the lack of natural resistance from the tree, whole neighborhoods can be devastated.

However, there are effective chemical treatments to prevent the spread of EAB to a particular tree, but not to cure a severe infestation. These treatments must be annually applied, and may not be practical or economical to most homeowners. If you decide to go this route, ensure that the tree care professional is a certified arborist, and ask for references.

I Want to Replant: So What Then?

Deciding to replace your tree can be a difficult decision. Thankfully, there are many hardy species that can withstand Minnesota's northern climate while still adding value to your property.

Before browsing lists, inspect the environment your ash tree once stood. Is the soil sandy or clayey? Did that tree lie on acidic or basic ground? Are there deer issues? Answering these questions will save you headaches in the future and allow you to take appropriate measures during planting.

Adaptable Replacements

While this is not an exhaustive list, these species are tough and can be planted in a variety of situations:

  • Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)
  • Common Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)
  • Ironwood (Ostrya virginiana)
  • Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)

More Questions?

For more specific recommendations, consult with a trusted tree nursery, or contact your local extension office.

Helpful Links:

Emerald Ash Borer Information Network

Minnetonka Reforestation Program (Contains Tree List)

Works Cited

Herms, D. A., & McCullough, D. G. (2014). Emerald ash borer invasion of North America: history, biology, ecology, impacts, and management. Annual review of entomology, 59, 13-30.



Shane Bugeja
Extension Educator, Ag Production Systems
(507) 304-4325

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