Visitors to Minneopa State Park may soon notice fewer trees near the waterfall area of the park. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will remove 20 trees from the area, including 17 ash trees, beginning Feb. 6.
To ensure visitor safety, access to the falls will be restricted when the tree removal is underway. The “Visitor Alert” section of the Minneopa State Park website will be updated daily to reflect access restrictions.
Emerald ash borer has not been confirmed within Minneopa State Park. However, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture identified infested ash trees about 4 miles away this past December. This means it is highly likely that EAB will infest the park’s ash trees in coming years. Trees infested with EAB die within a few years and present a hazard as they’re dying. To ensure visitor and employee safety, and to reduce costs associated with managing and removing diseased trees, the DNR decided to remove the trees now.
Emerald ash borer is regulated by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. More information about EAB is available at Emerald Ash Borer Program - Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
Besides the 17 ash trees, the three other trees that will be removed are a storm- damaged red oak and two sugar maples which are in declining health.
The trees removed from Minneopa State Park will be replaced. The timeline for tree replacement is still to be determined.
For more information, contact the DNR Information Center at [email protected] or 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).