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EAB replacement trees

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  EAB replacement trees

EAB is not going away.  It’s now in Dakota County, MN which is just miles from me.   They’ve quarantined the area, but, like Dutch Elm Disease and Buckthorn, it won’t disappear.  There is research underway using a certain type of wasp to prey on the bug, but whenever we introduce a species of any kind to deal with another invasive problem, we create another problem!

This little bug is responsible for the deaths of MILLIONS of Ash trees.  Minnesota has about 9 million Ash trees.  Many were planted along boulevards because of their easy growing, nice look and tolerant demeanor.  Well, now what?  We’re going to lose some.  Many cities are now finding themselves in a predicament – do they take out all the trees on a boulevard where street improvements will take place?  Do they take out every other one and plant something else?  Do they do nothing and let nature takes it’s course?

My own city, Northfield, MN, is working on a plan to take out the majority of the Ash trees.  They are looking to treat the ones that are valuable IF they show no signs of EAB.

What are our alternatives?

Variety is certainly the name of the game when planting anything.  The more diverse and the more we use natives, the better off our landscape will be.  I’m not saying that natives are completely protected, they’re not as evidenced by the destructive EAB, what I am saying is that they USUALLY have a better chance at survival overall.

A couple of newer cultivars for American Elm trees that could serve as alternatives include ‘Valley Forge’ and ‘Princeton’.

There are also a couple of other hybrids that the U of MN recommends.  ‘Accolade’ and ‘Triumph’.  Honey locust is one of my favorite trees as I love it’s Spring chartreuse color that deepens to a glossy green in Summer.

Honeylocust in spring

Honey locust in spring

Maples are an option as well, the Freeman Maple, ‘Autumn Blaze’ is a favorite of mine.

The Gingko is a good choice but only if you plant the MALE tree!  I know, sounds like discrimination.  Well, it’s just that the female tree bears fruit that’s messy and smells like dirty diapers.  Go figure!  ;-)

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