The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will share its replacement plan for the city's ash trees during a series of public meetings starting this week.
The emerald ash borer was first discovered in Minneapolis in 2010, and it's threatening some 240,000 ash trees in the city. The park board plans to replace 40,000 of them -- the ones on park land and boulevards.
Ash trees will be phased out over the next eight years, said Park board forester Ralph Sievert.
"We think we're at a point in the population of the beetle that numbers will still be manageable. What happens in cities where the beetle population has really taken off is that you can have trees dying just so fast that you can't keep up with removing them. But we think we're at a place where we can still keep that under control," Sievert said.
Officials want to prevent blocks that are mostly ash from losing all of their trees at once.
But officials discovered several new infestations this winter, so replacement plans could change as more problem areas are identified, he said.
The city's plan also depends on the cooperation of the emerald ash borer beetles. If the city sees a major increase in infestations, the replacement plant might need to be altered, Sievert said.
Minneapolis has an estimated 30,000 boulevard ash trees, plus another 10,000 in parks. The number of ash trees on private property in Minneapolis is estimated at about 200,000.