Tree canopy in Hennepin County to be restored after presence of emerald ash borer

May 14, 2019 06:16 PM

Hennepin County is working to replace trees lost largely to the prescence of emerald ash borer

The county is divvying up $500,000 in grant money to cities and projects working to replenish their trees. The board received 30 applicants from 10 cities, seven affordable housing providers, 11 schools and two nonprofits. 


"We're offering $500,000 annually for tree preservation and improvements to the canopy to municipalities, schools, nonprofit organizations and affordable housing providers," Hennepin County's John Evans said. 

Emerald ash borer is expected to kill one million ash trees, approximately 15 percent of the county's tree canopy in the next 10 years. 

Jeff Carlson is with Minneapolis Community Education at Whittier School. The school bought 30 trees totaling around $3,500. He says the trees are in the ground. 

"This past Saturday we had an Arbor Day tree planting and teachers, students and community members came out," he said. 

Carlson says planting trees is the easy part. The hard part is nurturing them and making sure they survive the first few years. 

"Each class has adopted a tree and that's their one to water and look after," he said.

More from KSTP:

Emerald ash borer treatment rates confirmed in Eden Prairie

Emerald ash borer found in Sauk Centre, quarantine authorized

Emerald ash borer infestation confirmed in Burnsville

1,600 trees have been planted so far.

The healthy tree canopy program was supposed to be a one-off. But the county got such a great response they made it an annual opportunity for those who want to participate.

For those interested in the program, Hennepin County will open their grant submission process in June. Then in August, the county board will announce the winners.

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Todd Wilson

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