Shade Tree Epidemic Pest Control Program

Trees provide the community with many environmental, economic and aesthetic benefits. The health of trees in the City of Lakeville is threatened by epidemic level shade tree pests. These pests do not just create aesthetic damage such as leaf feeding, they kill trees and spread from infested or diseased trees to nearby healthy trees regardless of property lines. This causes significant damage to not only individual trees, but groups of trees and the community’s forest. 

  • Tree diseases and pests cross property lines and can be moved with firewood which makes them complex to manage. 
  • The Shade Tree Epidemic Pest Control Program enables the City to manage widespread shade tree pests such as emerald ash borer (EAB), oak wilt (OW) and Dutch elm disease (DED) on both public and private property in order to protect Lakeville’s community forest. 

The best management strategies for each pest vary depending on the pest, tree, location and extent of infestation or infection. The City uses a combination of best practices to manage these epidemic tree pests on public property. 

  • Forestry staff are ISA Certified Arborists who inspect City properties and also provide residents with no cost inspections and technical support for managing these pests on private property. 
  • Starting March 2020, as a part of the Shade Tree Epidemic Pest Control Ordinance and Policies, Forestry staff will begin surveying, marking and requiring the removal of ash trees infested with emerald ash borer on private property. The typical inspection period for EAB is February-April of each year.
  • Infested trees showing signs of emerald ash borer such as larval galleries and/or significant woodpecker activity will be clearly marked with an orange painted ring and the size/diameter of the tree. A door hanger will be left on site and an official notification letter with supplemental resources will be mailed to the property owner. 
  • Dutch elm disease and oak wilt inspections will occur from June-September of each year.

It is better to know if your tree is infested or diseased earlier rather than later. Depending on the extent of the infestation or infection, you may be able to treat and preserve your tree. It also gives you the option of removing the tree before the tree becomes brittle and hazardous, which can increase the cost of removal. 

  • The timely removal of a tree harboring EAB , DED  or OW  is important for effective management because left unchecked, they can spread to healthy trees. 
  • Unfortunately, removing trees at the wrong time can also increase the possibility of spreading a pest.
  • Each pest or disease has a life cycle that influences when they can and can’t infest or infect healthy trees. Removing a tree at the right time will limit the spread and provide the opportunity to protect or preserve healthy trees nearby. 

This program will help preserve and protect the community’s trees and canopy cover. For more information, read our FAQs.