The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has grant money available to help communities combat emerald ash borer and manage city-owned ash trees.

Grants can help pay for tree inventories, management plans, ash removal and tree planting.

“These grants will help communities struggling with emerald ash borer to manage their ash,” said Valerie McClannahan, DNR urban and community forestry coordinator. “The grants will also be available to help communities that are not infested prepare for the threat of EAB.”

Eligibility criteria and pre-application forms are available on the DNR’s EAB grant website. Pre-applications are required and will determine which proposals advance to the final application process. Pre-applications must be emailed to ucf.dnr@state.mn.us by midnight Oct. 4.

On average, 20 percent of community trees in Minnesota are ash, according to an estimate from a 2010 DNR survey. Minnesota communities are at risk of losing 2.65 million public and privately owned ash trees to EAB. This places a significant financial burden on cities as they manage their trees. The estimated cost to remove and replace a single city-owned ash tree is $1,000.

The loss of 2.65 million ash trees also presents environmental concerns for communities: it will result in an additional 1.7 billion gallons of water annually entering already stressed stormwater systems across Minnesota. Managing city-owned trees can reduce this stress as well as prevent the increase in temperatures, especially along boulevards, that the loss of canopy will cause.

Emerald ash borer is an invasive beetle that kills ash trees. To date, it has been discovered in 20 Minnesota counties. To see where EAB has been found in Minnesota, visit the Department of Agriculture’s interactive map.

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