An emerald ash borer infestation has been found in West St. Paul, the fourth Dakota County city known to have the destructive tree pest.
While surveying trees this month in the north end of town, the state Department of Agriculture and city staff discovered three infested boulevard trees north of Bernard Street, said Dave Schletty, the city’s assistant parks and recreation director. Two trees suspected of having the infestation were nearby.
Crews were planning to go back this week to survey elsewhere to see how extensive the infestation is, he said.
About 40 percent of the city’s more than 3,300 public boulevard trees are ash trees, according to a 2014 survey.
City staff will now develop a strategy, using its Emerald Ash Borer Action Plan approved in January, to try to contain the infestation to the north side of town and slow its spread. It will be phased in over the next 10 years.
“We will be doing targeted takedowns of the infested trees and other suspect trees in the area, along with treatment of many other trees to try to establish a line of defense,” Schletty said