tree and park bench icon

1 million

Number of ash trees in yards, parks and streets throughout Hennepin County

emerald ash borer icon


All ash trees in the county that aren't being treated will be infested with emerald ash borer soon

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Less than 1 mile

Most residents live less than one mile from an infested ash tree

See where emerald ash borer has spread in Hennepin County (GIF)

Trees provide many benefits

  • Protect air and water
  • Shade homes and help to conserve energy
  • Provide habitat
  • Cool our streets and cities
  • Make our communities healthier
  • Reduce stress levels


There are several varieties of ash trees in Hennepin County – green, white and black – and all are susceptible to emerald ash borer.

Look for the following characteristics to determine if your tree is an ash tree:

ash tree branches

Branches grow directly opposite from one another.

ash tree leaves

Compound leaves, or multiple leaves on one stalk joined to a branch. Leaves commonly have 5 to 9 leaflets.

ash tree bark

Bark with diamond-shaped pattern.

ash tree seeds

Seeds are oar-shaped samaras that typically hang in clusters.

Resources to identify ash trees

Photo credits: Lindy Buckley (ash leaves); Paul Smith of the Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community (ash tree bark); a200/a77Wells (ash seeds)

Signs of infestation

The following signs may indicate that an ash tree is infested with emerald ash borer.

emerald ash tree

Leaves on the top or one part of the tree start dying.

sprouts growing from a tree base

Sprouts growing from the roots or base of the tree indicate it is stressed.

tree with signs of woodpecker activity

Increased woodpecker activity with sections of the bark stripped away.

holes in an emerald ash tree

Adult beetles leaving the tree create D-shaped exit holes.

signs of larvae feeding

Larvae feeding on the tree's tissue leave a serpentine pattern underneath the bark.



Treatment with an insecticide is an option to preserve ash trees of high value. See our decision guide for managing ash trees (PDF) to decide what approach to managing ash trees works best for you.

arborist treating an ash tree

What you need to know

  • A healthy, mature ash tree may be worth saving. The tree should be at least 30 inches in circumference (or 10 inches in diameter) at chest height and of value to the property owner.
  • If you decide to treat an ash tree you should begin treatment immediately. 
  • Preservation treatments must be administered by a certified arborist every two years in late spring. Cost is typically $200 to $300 per tree but varies depending on the tree's size.
  • Hennepin County recommends using a trunk injection of emamectin benzoate (commercial name Tree-age), which is an effective treatment option. It is not a neonicotinoid, which has been shown to negatively impact pollinators.

Determining if a tree is a good candidate for treatment

In some circumstances, ash trees may not be good candidates for treatment. If 30% or more of the leaves and branches have died or if there are blond patches on the bark, these are signs of heavy infestation levels, and the tree may not be a suitable candidate for treatment. Studies have shown that treating after this level of infestation may not work, and if it does, that tree will need intensive pruning to remove dead or dying wood. 

Work with an arborist

Whether you are treating or removing your trees, you should work with an ISA-certified arborist. These arborists are trained in proper tree care by the International Society of Arboriculture.

Photo credit: R. Jeanette Martin, and used with permission via Creative Commons license 2.0


Any ash tree not being treated will eventually need to be removed and disposed. A dead tree should be removed before it becomes a hazard.

removing an infected ash tree

What you need to know

Funding for removals

In early 2024 Hennepin County was awarded 10 million dollars in funding from the U.S. Forest Service to remove diseased trees, plant trees, educate residents, and support businesses and workforce development. Work on this project will begin in spring 2024 and continue through January 31, 2029. Hennepin County will help homeowners with low incomes get trees removed and replaced on their properties. Applications will be accepted from residents beginning in June 2024. 

Visit Be Heard Hennepin to view FAQs, subscribe for updates, and find application materials when they become available. 


Trees provide numerous benefits including improving air and water quality, reducing soil erosion, increasing wildlife habitat, providing savings in heating and cooling, and improving health. So planting new trees in place of any you remove is a great idea.

replanting a tree

What you need to know

Photo credit: University of Minnesota

This resource is part of Hennepin County’s effort to maintain a healthy tree canopy and increase awareness about the threat emerald ash borer poses to ash trees.