City negotiates discounted price for EAB treatment
In an effort to assist residents in the fight against Emerald Ash Borer, the City of Hastings approved a contract with Rainbow Treecare (RTC) to secure competitive pricing for Hastings residents. Rainbow Treecare is not an exclusive vendor; residents are free to select any vendor they choose. However, by selecting RTC as the City’s “Preferred Vendor”, the City was able to negotiate the lowest “not to exceed” price for treatments. Residents will benefit from lower direct treatment prices and RTC will provide Ash tree inventory and treatment data to the city.
Rainbow Tree Care was chosen using the following criteria:
1. Cost of treatment per diameter inch: RTC proposed a not to exceed price of $6.75/dbh* to treat Ash trees for EAB. *The abbreviation “dbh” stands for diameter at breast height and equates to the measurement per inch of trunk diameter measured 4.5 feet from the ground.
2. Electronic tree inventory data collection: RTC has a dedicated GPS/GIS specialist on staff that will accomplish this function and provide important data to the City to be able to track the ash trees in the community.
3. Years of experience and volume of trees treated annually: RTC has over 13 years of experience successfully treating ash trees for EAB, and treated over 8,000 trees in 2016 for both residential and municipal clients.
4. Sufficient staff dedicated to conducting preventative treatments: RTC has over 40 certified Arborists, 16 certified Pesticide Applicators, and a Director of Municipal Consulting on staff and available to Hastings residents.
The retail cost for treating ash trees for EAB typically ranges from $10.00 to $13.00/dbh. By identifying Rainbow Treecare as the preferred vendor, Hastings residents will pay $3.25 - $6.25 less per diameter inch for these treatments. After the 2017 treatment season has concluded, staff will evaluate the success of the program with the Preferred Vendor. Staff will solicit new pricing proposals for 2018 and beyond.
Rainbow Treecare can be found online at www.rainbowtreecare.com/hastings/ or at 952-922-3810. Their website contains a wealth of information regarding EAB treatments and cost comparisons.
What is EAB?
EAB stands for emerald ash borer. It is an insect that attacks and kills all species of ash trees that grow in Minnesota. The beetle is a small (less than ½ inch) iridescent green bug that feeds on ash trees during the summer. It lays eggs underneath the bark and as the eggs develop into larvae they feed on the cambium underneath the bark denying the tree the nutrients it needs to survive. Ultimately the tree dies over a two to three year period.
Symptoms of EAB Infestation
- Crown dieback from the top
- New epicormic (the lower trunk) shoots or growth
- D-shaped exit holes
- Bark splitting
- S-shaped or serpentine shaped galleries formed under the bark
- Extensive woodpecker damage
What can be done?
- Positively identify trees and have them professionally evaluated.
- Proactively treat ash trees with insecticides.
- Professional tree care services offer injection treatments.
- Property owners can purchase and apply soil drench insecticides. Follow the instructions on the label, it is the law.
- If you treat a boulevard tree, save your receipts!
- Tree removals effectively eliminate EAB's food source.
- Trees on private property can be removed at any time and does not require coordination with the City Forester.
- Removal of trees within boulevard spaces must be authorized by the City Forester, and the removal must be done through a licensed tree removal service.
- Monitor the condition of all trees on your property, keep an eye out for damage and pests.
What is the City going to do?
- A complete boulevard and park tree inventory has been completed.
- Approximately 1,000 ash trees are within boulevard spaces, this represents 22% of all boulevard trees.
- Approximately 500 desirable ash trees exist with parks and open spaces.
- The City Forester will be treating ash trees within parks and open spaces beginning in 2017.
- The approved treatment plan will treat 1/3rd of the ash trees each year.
- The treatment plan is anticipated to run for 10 years.
- The City will work with professional tree care services in hopes of establishing a "not to exceed" price per inch for treating ash trees in Hastings.
- The agreements will require willing participants.
- The agreements will allow residents to take advantage of lower treatment costs for boulevard and private property ash trees.
- The City will continue to communicate with residents on City efforts and the importance of proactive/preventative control efforts.
- Do not buy or move firewood if you do not know its identity or source. Movement of infested wood has been the most prevalent way of transporting the pests from infested to uninfested areas.
- Avoid pruning Ash trees until late fall or winter when trees are dormant.
- Look for the symptoms of EAB in Ash trees and if you have questions or concerns, contact the City Forester, Paul Mahoney, at 651-480-6177 or call a tree care professional.
On April 4th, 2017 the Parks & Recreation Committee of Council (Braucks*, Folch, Leifeld) met and discussed boulevard tree maintenance requirements. The meeting's packet materials provide background along with current ordinance and policies. The meeting follow up summarizes the Committee's action.
On May 1st, 2017 the City Council discussed and adopted the boulevard tree maintenance recommendation forwarded by the Parks & Recreation Committee of Council. Parks & Recreation Director, Chris Jenkins also provided a brief presentation related to EAB including a map of ash trees in boulevards.
EAB Treatment Vendors:
- Rainbow Treecare
- Phone 952-922-3810
- Website: https://www.rainbowtreecare.com/
- Save a Tree
- Phone: 651-964-4001
- Website: http://www.savatree.com/
- Phone: 651-451-8907
- Website: http://www.sstree.com/
- Minnesota Department of Agriculture
- Arrest The Pest
- Emerald Ash Borer Insecticides: Label Guidance for Use Limits
- Homeowner Guide to Insecticide Selection, Use, and Environmental Protection
- Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Potential Side Effects of Systemic Insecticides Used to Control Emerald Ash Borer
- Finding Tree Care Help: Certified Arborists and MN Tree Care Advisors
- University of Minnesota: EAB Risk Status