Ash trees removed parks, emerald ash borer present

By: 
Jarrod Schoenecker

Jarrod Schoenecker photo

Crews work in Memorial Park to remove all the ash trees on Feb. 26.

Residents/businesses can sponsor a tree

Residents have taken to both social media and talking to their neighbors about the abundance of activity with trees being removed in two of Montgomery’s parks — professing that they were rather unpleasant about the removals.

The City of Montgomery hired contractors to remove a total of 129 ash trees in Memorial Park and Northside Park in the last few weeks. The truth is, the trees would have likely died within the next few years anyway.

Contractors on the job Feb. 26 said that there were a number of trees that were already infected with the emerald ash borer (EAB). The EAB larvae slowly kills the trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the parts of the tree that move nutrients through the trunk. Signs of the emerald ash borer can go undetected for years.

EAB was first discovered in Le Sueur County in February of 2022 on trees in Memorial Park in New Prague.

The first signs of the invasive species in Montgomery came later in 2022 when a Minnesota Department of Agriculture employee noticed ash trees near city hall with signs of an infestation.

There is no real cost-effective way to treat trees to prevent them from being infected with EAB, and, once they are here, it is hard to stop them, according to City Administrator Brian Heck. Part of what makes them hard to control is that, in their mature state, they can fly as much as a half mile or more when they emerge.

The best way city council felt to handle the situation with the growing infestation was to identify trees, remove them and replace them with a variety of trees not susceptible to EAB or other types of disease or infestation.

A survey of the trees was done and all ash trees were marked via GPS. Removal of all of the trees in Northside Park and Memorial Park has now been completed.

Contractors will work on a combination of grinding stumps below grade or removing stumps completely this and next week in the parks, weather dependent. City crews will be following directly behind them to fill in dirt over the holes.

The city will be replacing...

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