Return to Headlines

District to replace ash trees in response to emerald ash borer

New trees planted at Hamilton Elementary School in Coon Rapids(06/28/2023) Anoka-Hennepin buildings and grounds is in the middle of a multi-year project to remove ash trees across the district as part of a required emerald ash borer mitigation plan in the metro area.

This project is part of the Long Term Facilities Maintenance Plan and is in alignment with the district’s strategic investments and Strategic Priority 3.4 - Bond construction and facilities improvements.

The emerald ash borer is an invasive insect that has killed millions of ash trees throughout the eastern half of the U.S. and southeastern Canada. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Minnesota forests are home to an estimated 1 billion ash trees and Minnesota cities have an abundance of ash trees, making up 60 percent of the trees in some communities. More information is available on the Minnesota DNR website.    

The district removed nearly 200 trees during the 2022-23 school year and the plan calls for the removal of an additional 300 trees in 2023-24 and 310 more in 2024-25. In total, roughly 800 trees are marked for removal to help mitigate the spread of emerald ash borer.

“As a good partner and neighbor in our 13 communities that make up Anoka-Hennepin Schools, it is in the best interest that we do what we can to help manage the spread of emerald ash borer,” said Jacob Morgan, Anoka-Hennepin sites and grounds supervisor.  

Anoka-Hennepin is committed to replacing ash trees that are removed in strategic areas in order to maintain tree cover on district properties. The district is using a study provided by the University of Minnesota Extension for the selection of trees to be re-planted on district grounds.

Of the 200 trees removed in May 2023, 145 new trees have been planted at sites including Dayton, Eisenhower, Hamilton, Mississippi, McKinley, Ramsey, University Avenue and Wilson elementary schools, Coon Rapids High School and River Trail Learning Center at L.O. Jacob.