Conservation Corps crews are back to St. Paul this week to kick off a new year with new crew members! We began the week working in Como Woodlands Outdoor Classroom (CWOC) removing ash trees that could be threatened by the invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Unfortunately, EAB has made its way to Saint Paul, and in an effort to slow its spread, selected ash trees are being removed across the city to reduce opportunities for EAB. The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect with no native predators. It targets ash trees, eventually killing the tree. Minnesota has the largest concentration of ash trees in the country, according to the University of Minnesota, meaning there is much here for us to protect.
Here are some tell tale signs of EAB activity according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources:
· heavy woodpecker activity on tree
· dying branches in the top canopy
· sprouts around the tree base
· vertical cracks in the bark
· S-shaped tunnels under the bark
· 1/8 inch D-shaped exit holes in the bark
To learn more about Emerald Ash Borer, check out these links:
The crews also spotted a red fox, Vulpes vulpes, and a mated pair of red tailed hawks, Buteo jamaicensis, while out working in CWOC. Who knew there was such diverse wildlife right here in the city?