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With invasive species killing many Winnipeg trees, what can you plant?

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With the City of Winnipeg battling multiple invasive species and diseases affecting the urban canopy, homeowners should consider diversifying the trees on your property.

More than 350,000 ash trees in the city will die in the next 10 years after emerald ash borer beetles were found here in 2017, said Martha Barwinsky, the city’s forester.

“We have three major invasive pests threatening our urban canopy right now — Dutch Elm Disease, we have been managing that, and emerald ash borer and the Cottony Ash Psyllid,” she said.

When the city was grappling with Dutch Elm Disease in the 1980s, they started planting mostly ash trees in areas like Windsor Park, Riverview, River Heights and some spots in Transcona.

READ MORE: City rolls out plan to tackle invasive species and temporarily preserve Winnipeg’s ash trees

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Now they are trying to slow the spread of the beetle and keep the ash trees for as long as possible.

“We are starting to be proactive the best we can with the resources that we have to proactively remove and start removing those ash trees and inject others so we can manage the logistics of the mortality and removing all those ash trees over that period of time and replacing them as well,” she said.

If you don’t know what type of tree is near your house, the city has mapped out every tree online:

For people who have ash trees on their front yards, like Adi Shail, they are already looking for alternatives.

“It’s going to look empty if there are no trees. It will look empty but we will just plant some other trees to make it look green as always,” he said.

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The city has a list of trees you can plant online.

For larger shade trees these are the recommended species:

  • Manitoba maple
  • Kenora silver maple
  • Silver maple
  • Silver Cloud silver maple
  • Bur oak
  • Basswood
  • American elm
  • Brandon American elm
  • Prairie Expedition elm
  • Triumph Hybrid elm
  • Siberian elm