In an effort to improve people's health and the environment, the City of Minneapolis is selling trees for just $25.
The city has 1,200 five-to-eight foot trees in 15 varieties available, with large species, flowering trees and several kinds of fruit trees among them. These trees can cost about $125 in a nursery, according to city statement.
"Healthy trees look beautiful in our neighborhoods, increase property values, help clean the air we breathe, save on our energy bills with strategic planting, keep the city cooler in the summer, provide homes for wildlife and help manage stormwater," a city spokesperson said.
Some Minneapolis businesses and non-profits can qualify for free trees for the city's Urban Forestry Project. Read more on that here.
Tree ordering starts here on March 21, and pick up will take place at the City of Minneapolis Impound Lot May 21-23.
Why is Minneapolis making the offer?
The City says there is a "critical need for planting more trees" because of emerald ash borers – beetles that kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feed on the part of the tree that moves nutrients up and down the trunk.
The pests have killed tens of millions of ash trees in 24 states, and Minnesota is home to more ash trees than anywhere else in the country – nearly one billion, according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).
The Minneapolis Park Board expects all of the ash trees in Minneapolis – 200,000 trees that make up one-fifth of the city's urban forest – to die from emerald ash borers.
"These beetles are on track to kill every single ash tree here in Minnesota – that’s nearly 2 million trees in the metro area alone," said the city's statement.
After identifying an Emerald ash borer infestation in the southeastern part of Wabasha county, the MDA on Monday placed the area under emergency quarantine – meaning the movement of firewood and ash material across county borders will be limited.
Currently, 11 Minnesota counties and Park Point in Duluth are under quarantine to prevent the spread of the Emeraldash borer.
The MDA suggests three steps for Minnesotans to help keep Emerald ash borers from spreading:
- Don’t transport firewood. Buy firewood locally from approved vendors, and burn it where you buy it.
- Be aware of the quarantine restrictions. If you live in a quarantined county, be aware of the restrictions on movement of products such as ash trees, wood chips, and firewood.
- Watch your ash trees for infestation. If you think your ash tree is infested, go to www.mda.state.mn.us/eab and use the “Do I Have EmeraldAsh Borer?” guide.
In their March gardening guide, MPR recommends monitoring your ash trees and have a Plan B tree to replace them with.
Minnesotans love trees
Minnesota has 17.3 million acres of forest land and 52 native tree species, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Read more Minnesota tree facts here.
And Minnesota's varied species often make for good photo opportunities, as the following social media posts attest.