by Michael-jon Pease
Saint Paul Parks Conservancy Executive Director

If only I had known how easy it is to identify and treat a tree

The last year has been a hard one on the trees in my corner of the world. First, an out-of-control driver jumped the curb taking out four trees on our front lawn (including a wonderful three-trunk Rive Birch). Then our three boulevard trees got the ominous green ring that marked them for removal by our valiant forestry department. Almost all of the trees on our street were Ash trees ravaged by the Emerald Ash Borer.

Becoming a first-time homeowner nine years ago, I didn’t think about the boulevard trees or even know the species. When they got marked with the green ring, I called an arborist that I’d found through the St Paul Parks and Recreation Forestry website link to certified arborists. Yep, Ash Trees. Diseased for at least five years. If I’d have had them looked at early on, I could have saved them with a very affordable treatment. Now those three 40-foot beauties are gone. It will cost the city far more to replace them than I would have spent on tree care.

In this city of parks, boulevard trees are vital to our environment. Trees capture and store rainwater and carbon, improve air quality, reduce noise pollution and provide much-needed shade for our urban canyon in summer. Trees have even proven to reduce crime and stress. What I miss most about my boulevard trees, however, is their beauty. Visit the forestry website to learn more. Find out what trees grow on your boulevard if you have them. Look closely and ask an arborist to monitor them. The whole city will be better for your help in caring for our urban canopy.