Local grants help communities manage ash trees for emerald ash borer

June 6, 2022


In 2021, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources awarded a combined $2.6 million in grants to 43 communities across Minnesota to combat damage caused by emerald ash borer. The grants provide funding for tree inventories, management plans, ash removal, and tree planting.

“These funds will help communities manage for EAB,” said Valerie McClannahan, urban and community forestry program coordinator. “From taking the first steps in understanding the health and location of ash trees, to developing plans for managing ash trees or continuing to diversify and increase climate resiliency of urban forests, these grants are designed to meet community needs.”

In the city of Eagle Lake, the community is beginning to prioritize public tree management.

“Following a recent tree inventory in our community, we’ve identified approximately 100 ash trees on city property,” said City Administrator Jennifer Bromeland. “Learning of the EAB grant through the DNR was the impetus for starting the process of incrementally removing ash trees on city property and replacing them with a more diverse mix of trees.”

In Moorhead, where ash trees comprise 26% of public trees, the city will manage for EAB before it arrives. Removing and replacing vulnerable ash trees will help protect both public safety and the environment. Ash trees infested with EAB become brittle, making them more dangerous and difficult to remove, and more likely to drop large branches.

“We are able to prioritize removal of ash trees with significant structural defects that pose an increased risk to public safety. Removing these trees results in a safer urban forest,” City Forester Trent Wise said.

In western Minnesota, where ash can comprise up to 50% of the trees in a community, the city of Marshall will use grant funds to plant a mixture of birch, oak, honeylocust, hackberry, ironwood, and disease-resistant elm trees. A diverse urban tree canopy is more resilient to pests, disease, and the effects of climate change.

“In addition to planting new species, we always mix up our varieties and cultivars so we don’t have all the same trees,” City Parks Superintendent Preston Stensrud said.

Now that the grants have been awarded, the DNR is pleased to identify the 2021 grant recipients.

2021 Shade Tree Program bonding grantees:

Funding from the 2020 bonding bill provided $1 million to assist communities in removing and replacing ash trees.

  • Brooklyn Park, $25,000
  • Chanhassen, $30,745
  • Coon Rapids, $100,000
  • Duluth, $99,081
  • Eden Prairie, $42,467
  • Lake City, $98,212
  • Maplewood, $45,038
  • Mounds View, $11,996
  • New Brighton, $100,000
  • Red Wing, $94,000
  • Rochester Parks & Recreation, $77,385
  • Saint Louis Park, $40,000
  • Saint Paul Forestry, $50,000
  • South St. Paul, $94,500
  • Willmar, $24,996
  • Winona, $24,330
  • Dakota County Parks, $42,250

2021 Preparing for EAB grantees:

Legislative funding in 2021 provided $1.6 million to assist communities in conducting tree inventories, ash management plans, and removing and replacing ash trees.

  • Anoka County Parks, $100,000
  • Albert Lea, $100,000
  • Anoka, $100,000
  • Arlington, $26,042
  • Eagle Lake, $7,500
  • Fridley, $55,400
  • Hopkins, $28,950
  • Lake St. Croix Beach, $6,419
  • Lakeville, $11,185
  • Lino Lakes, $32,910
  • Little Canada, $73,142
  • Mankato, $32,500
  • Marine on St. Croix, $8,910
  • Marshall, $93,390
  • Moorhead, $60,000
  • New Hope, $35,000
  • New Ulm, $100,000
  • North Mankato, $50,000
  • Northfield, $92,500
  • Oakdale, $100,000
  • Ramsey County Parks & Recreation, $72,000
  • Richfield, $99,840
  • Roseville, $50,000
  • Shakopee, $100,000
  • Paul Park, $89,310
  • Vadnais Heights, $75,000

To date, EAB has been confirmed in 35 Minnesota counties. For a list of these counties, visit the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s interactive map (mda.state.mn.us/EABStatus).

For more information, visit the Community Forestry page of the DNR website or contact the DNR Community Forestry Grants Team at [email protected].