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Marking tree for removal

Fighting the Emerald Ash Borer

What’s smaller than a penny and can kill the mightiest of ash trees? It’s the Emerald Ash Borer, and this jewel-colored pest is no gem.

In 2014, the non-native beetle was first identified in Bloomington and it has continued to spread since. All ash trees are at risk. The City is combating the Emerald Ash Borer by pre-emptively removing ash trees in parks and rights of way. Disease resistant trees are planted in their place.

“Bloomington has a well-established tree disease management process that was used to control Dutch elm disease,” Assistant Maintenance Superintendent Dave Hanson said. “Our goal is to rebuild a new canopy for the future.”

Most work is done in the winter when identifying trees is easier. The Emerald Ash Borer leaves a distinctive pattern in the bark of highly infested trees. Woodpecker holes over blond bark areas are other indicators of ash tree infestation.

For residents with ash trees on their properties, this is a good time to decide whether to have them removed or routinely treated. If you are not certain or have questions, visit or contact Dave Hanson at 952-563-8765 or