Managing Elm trees

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Jimmy McDonald
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Managing Elm trees

Post by Jimmy McDonald » Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:17 pm

I live in St. Cloud MN, and I have been noticing around town a fair amount of dead or struggling Elm trees. I have no idea if they are infected with dutch elm disease or not but I think that they should probably be removed just in case? I looked into how the city handles this and it seems that the owner of the property has to pay for the removal. I can report trees online to the city then the city will give a notice to the owner of the property. But I know that removing trees is expensive and most of these trees a pretty decent sized like 3-7 feet around and have the classic Elm shape. My only hesitation is that I'm going to cost people hundreds or thousands? of dollars. We still have some really nice Elm trees left in the city but not so many anymore. Should I go around reporting all of the struggling Elm trees to the city?


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Re: Managing Elm trees

Post by Don » Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:46 am

I appreciate your concerns, and recommend that you contact a professional arborist organization such as ISA (International Society of Arborists). They can provide you with good judgement as to the risks, hazards, and health of the trees you're concerned with.
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Re: Managing Elm trees

Post by Joe » Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:08 am

Jimmy, I don't see any problem with your informing the town that in your opinion, a certain elm or any other tree is a potential danger. They don't have to take it down just because you say this- it's up to them to make an intelligent decision. You may cost somebody to take it down but you may save their life or property. We saw in the news about a big limb falling in a national park and killing 2 children.

However, I've seen many big elms die from dutch elm- the tree may be dead for years before it falls apart- usually, the small branches will fall first and the big ones not for years- so you could also just keep an eye on them.

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Will Blozan
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Re: Managing Elm trees

Post by Will Blozan » Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:29 am

It would be cheaper for the homeowner to treat the tree for DED than remove it. I agree, contact an arborist.


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Re: Managing Elm trees

Post by pierce » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:03 pm

I would suggest contacting the city forestry or parks dept. Most cities in MN have an ordinance for DED. If you report the trees the city can condemn them if needed. Sanitation has been a useful tool for cities in the upper midwest for DED. But keeping up with the disease can be hard. I know for most of the cities in the metro there is a opportunity for homeowners to transfer the cost of removal to their property taxes. Which is paid over several years. That usually requires using a city contractor. If the trees are mostly dead treatment may not be an option, but if they are flagging in one or two places treatment could be done. A qualified arborist would need to determine that.

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