Eden Prairie is committed in efforts to reduce tree losses through management of pests and diseases.
Not all pests and diseases require aggressive sanitation to help control spread to other trees, but those such as Dutch elm disease (DED), oak wilt and emerald ash borer (EAB) do. Currently the City operates sanitation programs for all three.
City Tree Inspections
City tree inspectors regularly inspect trees on public and private property, sometimes requiring the removal of trees to prevent the spread of disease and infestation. City code (Section 9.70) allows inspectors to enter private property to further assess suspect diseased/infested trees and require removal if positively identified.
If a tree on private property is identified as a nuisance tree, it is marked with paint and the property owner is notified in writing. The debris from trees required to be removed often qualify for free hauling and disposal from the City (criteria to qualify is outlined in written notice).
Diagnosing DED, EAB and Oak Wilt
Symptoms of DED and oak wilt are similar due to both being diseases which affect the tree's vascular system. Tree inspectors first look for wilted leaves or branches. If those are identified, inspectors take a twig sample and peel back the bark to confirm the disease. On a healthy elm/oak the underlying wood is white. If DED or oak wilt is present, the underlying wood has distinctive dark streaking. If this method is used and there is still a question of disease presence, samples are sent to a lab for testing.
If you are concerned about the health of your tree, contact the Forestry and Natural Resources Division.